Supporting your child’s wellbeing and mental health
We know that children and young people’s wellbeing and mental health is strongly linked to their success at school and later in life. As parents, there are many things you do every day to support your child’s wellbeing and mental health. When your child has a
strong connection to family, they are more likely to feel safe, supported and secure in their day-to-day life and in their learning journey. There are many ways that you and your family can support your child’s wellbeing and mental health, including:
- providing a safe, stable and supportive home environment
- creating a supportive community around your child, including family, close friends and neighbours
- modelling positive and effective
communication, problem solving and conflict resolution
- teaching your child how to express and manage their feelings and
- developing routines and consistency.
Another way to support your child to feel calm, happy and less stressed is to include activities into their daily routine that support their wellbeing. The department has developed a
wellbeing activities booklet, which provides examples of activities that your child could do to support their wellbeing. You may even want to do some of the activities with your child or as a family.
Other activities that will support your child's wellbeing and mental health, include:
Getting support for your child's wellbeing and mental health
It is normal for children and young people to feel stressed, sad, angry, worried or down sometimes—especially during times of uncertainty or following a traumatic event. Sometimes, even if you and your child are doing everything you can, you may need to access some additional support for your child's mental health. As a parent, it is important to know how and when to access support.
Support at school
Supporting your child's wellbeing and mental health is a priority for their school. Teachers and other school staff care about your child and want them to be happy and well. If you notice changes in your child or your child discloses that they are not feeling great, you can arrange an appointment with the school guidance officer. The guidance officer is there to provide advice and support about wellbeing and mental health concerns, and can also help you and your child access additional support outside of school.
Support outside of school
Sometimes, your child may want to talk about how they are feeling with someone that they don't know or you may need to access additional support outside of school to support your child's wellbeing or mental health. Your child may also feel more comfortable talking to someone over the phone or online.
There are many trusted organisations that are specifically available to support children and young people's wellbeing and mental health and that can provide guidance to parents about how to support their child. No matter what is going on in your child's life, they can talk to someone who cares and will help them feel better. View the websites below to find out more about each organisation and how to get in touch.
BeyondBlue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
Youth BeyondBlue a dedicated site for youth that provides information, resources and support for young people dealing with depression and/or anxiety.
headspace provides tailored and holistic mental health support to 12-25 year olds. headspace has a focus on early intervention, working with young people to provide support to help get them back on track and strengthen their ability to manage their mental health in the future.
Parentline is a confidential phone and WebChat counselling service supporting parents and carers of children.
Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women provides information about support available for parents and carers in Queensland.
CYMHS (Child Youth Mental Health Services) provides information about referral requirements and includes opening times and contact information.
Student Wellbeing Hub provides high quality, age-appropriate information and resources targeted specifically to educators, parents and students to support student wellbeing and safety.
Responding to traumatic events
Supporting your child’s wellbeing and mental health is especially important following a traumatic event. While it is completely normal for children and young people to experience strong emotions during and following a traumatic event, by noticing and responding with care and support, you will be able to help them feel better. Some children and young people may also require additional or longer-term support following a traumatic event. The following resources may assist parents and carers when supporting their family after a traumatic event.
Understanding, communicating with and supporting your child
- The department’s supporting your child following a traumatic event factsheet provides information about common child reactions following an event and strategies to use when talking to and supporting your child.
- These 2 factsheets from headspace provide information about common reactions young people have to traumatic events and how to help a young person:
parent and caregivers community trauma toolkit, developed by Emerging Minds, provides a suite of resources to help parents and carers with children up to 12 years old support their child before, during and after a traumatic event.
- The preparing for dangerous weather factsheet, developed by Queensland Health, University of Queensland and the Australian Government, helps parents make their child feel safe during dangerous weather. The factsheet is available in the following languages:
Looking after yourself and your family
Coping in a Crisis factsheets, developed by the Queensland Government, help families understand reactions to a crisis, how to respond following an event and assist with their recovery.
- The Queensland Government
disasters page also includes practical advice on preparing for and managing during a natural disaster.
looking after yourself and your family after a disaster resource (PDF, 6.3MB) helps parents understand their child’s reactions and where extra support can be obtained. This resource was developed by the Australian Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health, Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, Australian Red Cross and Beyond Blue.