1 in 8 young people will experience a mental health problem. That’s three students in the average classroom, so mental health problems are likely to affect your child, whether they experience it or their friends do.
Talking openly about mental health with your child is really important: if they’re aware of what mental health problems are, it will help them to understand their own wellbeing and what’s going on with their family and friends. It can be difficult to know where to start, but being open about mental health will really pay off in the future!
- Find ways to talk about mental health that work for you. If you have a friend or family member who has a mental health problem, talking about them might be a good way of starting a dialogue, or you could discuss celebrities who are talking about their mental health in the media.
- It can be easier to talk side-by-side, rather than face-to-face. Talking when shopping, cooking or driving can take the pressure off – you don’t have to have a formal sit-down.
- Talking about mental health problems, even relatively sensitive subjects like self-harm and suicide won’t make them any more likely to experience it. Actually’ being open about it might mean they feel comfortable asking for help sooner.