Sometimes your child might not want to talk to you about anything, let alone their mental health. This can be tough for you, as you obviously want to make sure they are safe and well.

Tips:

  • There’s still a lot of stigma and silence around mental health in our society, meaning it can be really hard to open up about mental health problems – your child might still be coming to terms with what’s happening.
  • Sometimes the time and space needs to be right – let them know you’re thinking about them and are there if they need you.
  • Asking open questions, like “how was your day”, given them room to respond how they want. Closed (yes or no) questions can have the effect of shutting down a conversation.   
  • Reinforce the fact that mental health problems are common – 1 in 4 of us will experience them in our lifetime – and they aren’t something to be ashamed of.
My dad doesn’t talk very much but he always listens to me about whatever I want to talk about and this has helped me to get things off my chest and feel relaxed. Your child may not want to talk at first, or may only say a few words, but always reassure them they can talk to you as little or as much as they want in their own time. – Ziaul