Going back to education in September will present new challenges for young people and their mental health. And we know that lots of parents, guardians and carers want to support them.

As well as managing concerns about coronavirus, young people may need to get used to their new working environment and they might not be able to enjoy as many activities outside of school. It could prove a challenging and upsetting time.

Having a conversation about mental health and checking in with your child is even more important right now. Our tips can help you have those conversations:

  1. Normalise it: 1 in 8 young people have a mental health problem, and many more are worried about their mental health.
  2. Check in: Your child’s feelings may change as the weeks and days go by and they adjust to the new normal.
  3. It doesn’t need to be about them: Talking about mental health in general might help open a dialogue. For example, ‘It can be stressful dealing with change can’t it?
  4. Talk side by side: You don’t have to have a face-to-face sit down chat. Lots of young might feel awkward about having a conversation, so take the pressure off by doing it while walking, cooking or driving.
  5. Make it relevant: Some young people might not think mental health is relevant to them. But we all have mental health, which can range from good to poor. These are unsettling times and it’s important to discuss mental health even if your young person isn’t in need of support.

If you’re worried about a young person in your life, the YoungMinds Parents Helpline provides a free, confidential advice via the phone, email or webchat.

If you’re a young person in need of support, there are a number of organisations with resources and services that can help. You’re not alone, and it’s always okay to ask for help.
Each year we support over 800 secondary schools to deliver sessions about mental health. Sign up now to receive brand-new resources in September.