Parents and carers

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Parents and carers 2018-08-13T16:12:29+00:00

Parenting can be the most rewarding and the toughest of jobs.  We all want our children to be healthy and happy. Thinking about your child’s mental health and helping them to develop their ability to cope with life’s challenges is one of the most important things you can do.

Children with positive mental health are more likely to have good physical health and achieve academically, and are less likely to misuse drugs and alcohol.

Below you will find information, services and resources created especially for parents. Resources include how to support your child as well as how to look after your own wellbeing.

You can find information on specific mental health issues within the children’s and young people’s sections.

Breakthrough Mentoring

Breakthrough Mentoring is individual mentoring for people who need additional support to fulfill their potential and move their lives forward.

We work with people facing a range of challenges including mental health issues, disabilities, challenging or offending behaviour, and young people in the care system.

Breakthrough mentors are carefully matched with mentees and use activities such as sport, music, conservation, mechanics, work experience placements (any activity that is appropriate for the mentee) to help build a strong and positive relationship and create the foundation for sustained behaviour change.

All placements require a funding source to pay for the sessions. This can be through Social Services, education, private or Direct Payments.

In order to make a referral please complete the referral form which can be found on the Breakthrough Mentoring web pages.

Tel: 01454844449

Email: breakthrough@southglos.gov.uk

The majority of young people experiencing emotional distress are not mentally ill but may require extra support and reassurance. Signs of distress to look out for include:


  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Fear and worry
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Numbness
  • Hopelessness


  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Lack of energy
  • Dizziness, headache and sweating
  • Dry mouth, nausea
  • Aches and pains
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Neglecting personal appearance


  • Self-criticism
  • Worries
  • Pessimism
  • Impaired concentration
  • Mind racing
  • Confusion
  • Suspiciousness
  • Emerging unusual beliefs


  • Withdrawing
  • Avoiding situations
  • Crying
  • Loss of motivation
  • Repetitive and/or compulsive
  • Self-harm
  • Risky behaviours
  • Alcohol/substance misuse


  • Let the young person know you’re concerned and want to help
  • Listen attentively and non-judgementally:
    • Open and relaxed posture, appropriate eye contact
    • Open questions to get them talking
    • Reflect back words or phrases to show you are listening and check understanding
    • Avoid giving advice!
  • Give reassurance that what they are experiencing is common and there is support available
  • Where appropriate, enable access to professional help – see services in the professionals section of this website
  • Encourage self-help strategies – see the ‘Looking after yourself’ section.

If you have concerns that a young person may be considering suicide, ask directly if this is the case and take appropriate action.

First Wednesday of every month @ The Pop Inn Cafe, West Walk, Yate BS37 4AX from 5.30 to 7pm

This session is for anyone looking after a teenager who is struggling with their mental health. They do not need to currently be accessing any OTR services. In these relaxed and informal sessions, we discuss:

  • What is mental health?
  • How is mental health different for teenagers?
  • How do we look after our mental health?

Caring for someone with a mental health illness

Filton – 1st Wednesday of every month, 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Upper Horfield Community Trust, Eden Grove BS7 0PQ

Yate – 3rd Tuesday of every month, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Yate Library, West Walk, BS37 4AX

Kingswood – 2nd Monday of the month, 10.30am – 12.30pm
United Church, Moravian Road, Kingswood, BS15 8LY

For more information email: sglosmhcarers@yahoo.com

The Carers Support Centre is a charity which provides support, information and advice to carers of any age living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

To find out more visit – www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk/young-carers

Carersline: 0117 965 2200
Young Carers: 0117 958 9980

If you are a parent carer in South Gloucestershire with a child aged 0-25 with a Special Educational Need and/or Disability (SEND), South Gloucestershire Parents and Carers are here for you!

We are all parents/carers ourselves of children or young adults with a variety of SEND. We are on your journey.  We have a real and in depth understanding of the issues we all face; from the challenges, to the joys our children bring. No diagnosis is needed to part of our group!

We would like to welcome you into our friendly community and join us in the opportunities we offer for families of SEND children to come together, provide support and share experiences.

Find out what we do by looking through our website and on Facebook and Twitter.

email: team@sglospc.org.uk

A small welcoming group set up by parents to support families with children and young people with any additional needs, http://www.jigsawthornbury.org.uk/ 

The Wellbeing College is based around your needs and where being well is actually on the curriculum!

We have a range of FREE courses on offer each term, including mindfulness, managing anxiety, and money management.

We also have sports and physical activities, art sessions, cooking, and activities in the open air such as gardening or nature walks.

For people aged 18 and over.

To view the current prospectus visit – www/sgwellbeingcollege.org
Tel: 01454 821856 or email: info@sgwellbeingcollege.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wellbeingcolleg
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013706220875

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people. It has a great section just for parents. You can read the parents survival guide, with sections about – you and your child, helping yourself and looking after yourself. www/youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/

The #Take20 Parents hub gives lots of tips about finding ways to create a relaxed space for talking with your child, by taking 20 minutes to do an activity together.

You can call the Parent Helpline – 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

There is also the Parents Lounge – where the Parents Helpline experts give their advice and tips on a range of topics chosen by you. Once a month experts are on hand to answer your questions on a chosen topic live on Facebook.

Previous sessions include:

  • Having difficult conversations with your child
  • Responding to teen behaviour
  • School refusal
  • Responding to anger in children
  • Managing anxiety in children

The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has developed and delivered pioneering mental health care for over 60 years.

Anna Freud aims to transform current mental health provision in the UK by improving the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of treatment. They believe that every child and their family should be at the heart of the care they receive, working in partnership with professionals.

You can read their publication – Talking Mental Health with Young People at Secondary School – advice for parents and carers. www.annafreud.org/media/6310/secondary-parents-leaflet-final-proofed.pdf

For parents and carers who are looking for help the centre offers a range of specialist treatments and assessments and for children, young people and families.  The service is made-up of highly experienced clinicians from a wide range of disciplines in including Clinical Psychology, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Play Therapy, Social Work and Family Therapy (for more info on disciplines please click here).

If you would like to find out more please contact the main reception and ask to speak with one of the clinical support team.

Telephone: 020 7443 2313
Email: referrals@annafreud.org
Website www.annafreud.org/what-we-do/our-help-for-children-and-families/looking-for-help-parents-and-carers/

Place2Be is the UK’s leading children’s mental health charity providing in-school support and expert training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, teachers and school staff.

Visit www.place2be.org.uk/what-we-do/parent-carer-resources.aspx  to view and download Place2be’s resources, written to help parents and carers to support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of their children and young people.

Find publications on the following:

Getting ready to start primary school