Support for Parents and Carers
What can help your mental health and wellbeing?
Consider how to connect with others: Maintaining relationships with people you trust is important for your mental wellbeing. Think about how you can stay in touch with friends and family via telephone, video calls or social media instead of meeting in person – whether it’s people you normally see often or connecting with old friends.
Help and support others: Think about how you could help those around you – it could make a big difference to them and can make you feel better too. Could you message a friend or family member nearby? Are there community groups that you could join to support others locally?
Talk about your worries: It is quite common to feel worried, scared or helpless. Remember that this is a difficult time for everyone and sharing how you are feeling and the things you are doing to cope with family and friends can help them too. If you don’t feel able to do that, there are people you can speak to via NHS recommended helplines or you could find support groups online to connect with.
Look after your physical wellbeing: Your physical health has a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise where possible and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Look after your sleep: Feeling anxious or worried can make it harder to get a good night’s sleep. Good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically, so it’s important to get enough. Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns and keep good sleep hygiene practises – like avoiding screens before bed, cutting back on caffeine and creating a restful environment. The Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice on how to improve your sleep.
Try to manage difficult feelings: Many people find things like COVID-19 or the Cost of Living Crisis concerning. However, some people may experience such intense anxiety that it becomes a problem. Try to focus on the things you can control, including where you get information from and actions to make yourself feel better prepared. It is okay to acknowledge some things that are outside of your control right now but constant repetitive thoughts about the situation which lead you to feel anxious or overwhelmed are not helpful. The Every Mind Matters page on anxiety and NHS mental wellbeing audio guides provide further information on how to manage anxiety.
Manage your media and information intake: 24-hour news and constant social media updates can make you more worried. If it is affecting you, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading, or listening to media coverage of the outbreak. It may help to only check the news at set times or limiting to a couple of checks a day.
Do things you enjoy: When you are anxious, lonely or low you may do things that you usually enjoy less often, or not at all. Focussing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can boost your mood.
Set goals: Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose – think about things you want or need to do that you can do.
Keep your mind active: Read, write, play games, do crossword puzzles, sudokus, jigsaws or drawing and painting. Find something that works for you.
Take time to relax and focus on the present: This can help with difficult emotions, worries about the future, and can improve wellbeing. Relaxation techniques can also help some people to deal with feelings of anxiety. For useful resources see Every Mind Matters and NHS’ mindfulness page.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is taking a stand against suicide. That means standing against feeling hopeless, standing up to stereotypes and standing together to show life is always worth living. Every week, 125 people in the UK take their own lives. CALM exists to change this - by offering life-saving services, provoking national conversation, and bringing people together to reject living miserably.
Through life-saving services, provocation, and collective action, CALM has been leading the campaign against living miserably for almost two decades. They pride themselves in the legacy of projects they have pulled off with their supporters, and the groundbreaking moments they've activated with brands.
Help and support during the cost of living crisis
Kent: Money Advice Service Benefits and financial support - Kent County Council
KCC are working with Green Doctor to provide energy saving advice. Green Doctor, helping UK residents stay warm, stay well, and save energy. - Groundwork
KCC Helping Hands:
Two new schemes will launch in winter summarised below. Details will be shared once available.
- Child Bed Poverty project, which will provide beds and bedding for eligible households
- An interest free loan scheme via Kent Savers to help manage payday loans
- Laptop and broadband scheme is due to re-open next week
KCC: Talents and Interest Grant:
Scheme remains open until 31 March 2023 Talents and Interests grant scheme - Kent County Council
The scheme is designed to support individuals or groups of young people to pursue a hobby such as sports, the arts or music. An adult from an education setting or community organisation can apply for a grant on the young person or group’s behalf in order to access hobbies such as sports, the arts or music. You can apply for £50 to £300 per grant for individuals and up to a £1000 for a group of three or more.
My Self-Care Plan
Self-care is all about what you can do to help yourself feel better or to keep yourself feeling good. It’s a way that we can look after our own mental health and wellbeing.
Everyone’s approach to self-care will look different. What works for you might not work for others. There are lots of different self-care strategies so you can try out different ones until you find something that works for you.
This resource walks young people through a series of steps, helping them create a detailed self-care plan that works for them.
The plan helps young people identify activities that they can use to support their mental health. It’s adaptable on a weekly or monthly basis, so that it can fit differing schedules or priorities.
The suggested activities in the plan are split into different categories, including:
- physical activities
- emotional activities
- social activities
- practical activities
The resource was co-written by Anna Freud Centre experts and young people, who shared ideas on self-care strategies that work for them.
East Kent Rape Crisis
We believe, listen and support.
Our aim is to provide a safe space for survivors of sexual violence across East Kent. We offer access to therapeutic and practical support to help people rebuild their lives.
Domestic Abuse Counselling
The trauma of enduring an abusive relationship can linger for many months, if not years, after the partnership ended. That is where domestic abuse counselling can have a role to play.
One of the so-called talking therapies, formal counselling allows you to discuss your feelings, problems and associated issues with a trained counsellor confidentially and safely.
SATEDA - Empowering Women, Ending Domestic Abuse
Our vision is to end domestic abuse and our mission is to enable women to end the cycle of domestic abuse and rebuild their lives, through education, support and advocacy. As a specialist domestic abuse charity, we campaign for systemic change around gender-based violence, while providing a unique journey of support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, enabling them to break free, take back control, find their own voices and live a life without fear.
Big White Wall - Support for 16-25 Year Olds
Togetherall is a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing.
Millions of people in the UK have access via their participating employer, university, college, NHS provider or local council. All armed forces personnel, veterans and their families (16+) also have free access.
Step By Step - Free Couselling for Young Adults (11-25)
Counselling gives you a safe place to be heard and it is completely confidential.
Our free counselling service is based on building a trusting relationship with you. It can help you talk about your experiences and worries and how to manage them in a supportive way. Our counsellors are trained to listen carefully and thoughtfully to you, without judgement.
Counsellors do not give advice but do support you to make positive decisions for yourself. Our counsellors are trained to work with many different areas that may be worrying you, including feeling stressed or anxious, feeling down, having panic attacks, being bullied, coping with the death of someone in your life, family problems, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, friendship / relationship issues, hurting yourself, problems with food or eating, feelings of not fitting in, exam worries and loneliness.
You’ll have up to 6 - 8 sessions with a counsellor who is trained to hear you in confidence.
We are Kent’s largest charity for homeless and vulnerable people. We’re here for people who have nowhere to go and no-one to turn to. Some are living on the streets, others need support because they are at risk of losing their home.
Kent Resilience Hub
Here at the Kent Resilience Hub we wanted to create a resource that helps young people, parents and carers, staff and practitioners to understand emotional wellbeing and resilience.
We know parenting isn’t always easy. Although it’s often amazing and rewarding to watch your children grow up, and to help them learn to be independent, it can also be really hard work. It can feel especially hard if your child's mood and behaviour seem different and you're not sure why, or what you can do to help. But you are not alone.
We have lots of practical advice and tips on supporting your child - from how to encourage your child to open up about their feelings to dealing with mental health services. No matter what you and your child are going through, things can get better.
We also have our Parent/Carer Helpline who can provide advice and support if you're worried about a child or young person.
Are you a parent or carer who is concerned about the mental health of your child or teenager? Do you just want some hints and tips on parenting? MindEd for Families has advice and information from trusted experts and will help you to understand what problems occur, what you can do to best support your family, and how to take care of yourself. MindEd for Families is written by a team of specialists and parents and carers, working together.
Action for Children
Advice and activities to support children and parents and carers with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Parenting Mental Health
Parenting Mental Health is a safe, supportive community and charity that helps parents and carers of young people with mental health issues. We love to support parents and carers and have brought together some resources.