Parents and carers
We all have mental health just as we all have physical health. Being mentally healthy means we feel good about ourselves, we can make and keep positive relationships and we are able to manage our emotions. Good mental health allows us to manage the ups and downs of life whilst feeling in control.
As children move through the various tumultuous transitions that accompany adolescence — physical, emotional, hormonal, sexual, social, intellectual — the pressures and problems they encounter can all too easily seem overwhelming. The majority of teenagers and young adults will navigate this, experiencing the usual highs and lows of this period of their life.
Sometimes young people find themselves struggling to handle the pressure and the emotions that come with it.
- Talk openly about mental health
Keep communication constant, open and honest. Your children should not know that they can talk to you about anything, you have to be committed to broaching topics of concern and do so openly. Talk about your own experiences and fears when you were an adolescent. Let them know they are not alone; nor are their anxieties unique.
- Be attentive to your child's behaviour
Young people don't always tell us verbally how they are feeling but changes in behaviour can be strong indicators that they are struggling.
- Model good habits
Young people are influenced by behaviours displayed around them. If you are taking care of your own mental wellbeing and implementing strategies when things aren't going well this will encourage your child to develop good habits.
Young Minds Parents’ Lounge
National charity Young Minds have a ‘Parents’ Lounge’. Once a month, experts answer parents’ questions on a chosen topic live on Facebook. Previous topics have included managing anxiety, responding to self-harm, responding to anger, and more.
You can watch recordings of previous sessions here: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/parents-lounge
You can also ring their parents’ helpline on 0808 802 5544 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm
MindEd For Families
Safe and reliable advice about young people’s mental health, created by experts and parents together.
High Storrs’ pastoral team is second to none and supports mental health, emotional resilience, wellbeing and academia across the school.
Whilst in school, Form Tutors, Heads of House and Student Support Assistants are available for students to talk to and offer support and guidance.
Mrs Chenery and Mrs Lomas
Miss Ashley and Mrs Osborne
Mr O'Connor and Mrs Stephens
Mr Mallaband and Ms Jilani
Mrs Stocks and Mrs Gaughan
In addition PSHCEE is taught to all students, and staff in this area have good knowledge of mental health and wellbeing, covering topics such as Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, Bullying, Homelessness, Government, Beauty/Media, Crime, Drugs & the Law, Marriage and Family, Justice, Addiction, Esafety to name a few.
We also work with external agencies to provide education and training for students, staff and parents/carers, for example NSPCC, Samaritans and Amy Winehouse Foundation.
Mental Health “Red Flags” Parents Should Be Alert For
Excessive sleeping, beyond usual teenage fatigue, which could indicate depression or substance abuse; difficulty in sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep disorders
Loss of self-esteem
Abandonment or loss of interest in favourite pastimes
Unexpected and dramatic decline in academic performance
Weight loss and loss of appetite, which could indicate an eating disorder
Personality shifts and changes, such as aggressiveness and excess anger that are sharply out of character and could indicate psychological, drug, or sexual problems
Key Mental Health Issues
Signs of anxiety amongst adolescents might be revealed through overeating or under-eating, excessive sleepiness, and over-concern with appearance. Some adolescents will experience phobias and panic attacks may occur. For the majority of young people, the feelings of uncertainty, turmoil and unhappiness that are all part of adolescence, do not mean that they will go on to develop more serious problems. However, for a minority of adolescents, specialist help may be necessary.
Parents can play an important role in helping their children through this difficult time. Strategies that parents can develop include:
Setting clear ground rules for the young person - these should be reasonable and become less restrictive as children become more responsible.
Be prepared to really listen to your child - adolescents are much more likely to confide in you and trust you if they feel that you will respond to their worries and not automatically criticise them.
Find support for yourself - many parents feel rejected by their adolescent offspring and are uncertain how to support them.
Talking to other parents and to your partner can make you feel less isolated.
When the young person’s anxiety is such that it is causing them prolonged distress or it is interfering with their lives; stopping them going out with friends, having relationships or hobbies, for example, then you might want to consider asking for professional help.
While all of us are subject to “the blues,” keep an eye out for behaviour out of the ordinary:
Changes in sleep patterns
Unexpected weeping or excessive moodiness
Eating habits that result in noticeable weight loss or gain
Expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness
Paranoia and excessive secrecy
Mention of hurting himself or herself
Obsessive body-image concerns
Abandonment of friends and social groups
In addition to peer pressure, mental health issues can lead adolescents not just to experiment with alcohol and drugs, but also to use substances for “self-medication.” And in addition to being aware of the behavioural and physical signs of alcohol and drug abuse — drug and alcohol paraphernalia or evidence, hangovers, slurred speech, etc. — parents should also know that over-the-counter-medications can be abused as well.
Could you take the pledge?
Excellent, free, suicide prevention training (20 mins online) below for those that would like it.
There is a new suicide support website for Sheffield – see link below and consider taking the pledge to share the website and undertake the local training:
• Sheffield Flourish have now launched the Sheffield Suicide Support website, which is available here: https://www.sheffieldsuicidesupport.co.uk/
• They are still collecting feedback – if anyone has any they’re welcome to send it directly to Jo.Eckersley@sheffieldflourish.co.uk
• They need help getting the message out – they are asking people to take a pledge to share the website, do the training and help spread the message:https://www.sheffieldsuicidesupport.co.uk/take-the-pledge/
Support during Exams
Encouraging your child to look after themselves during this period will give them skills for life when experiencing other stressful situations (e.g. interviews, driving test).
Where’s the guide? Here you go ……
Mental Health and Wellbeing
The list below is not exhaustive.
If you would like advice on a particular area please do not hesitate to contact us:
Telephone: 0114 267 0000
'Please note we have included links that to services and support that past and present students and staff have found helpful. However, by providing these links we are not endorsing any external organisations, their websites or products and/or services they provide. Equally, we do not accept liability for the accuracy of quality of the content of those websites.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation works to prevent the effects of drug and alcohol misuse on young people. We also aim to support, inform and inspire vulnerable and disadvantaged young people to help them reach their full potential. We are driven by a powerful vision for young people, a world where young people can flourish.
Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) treats children and young people with a range of difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The Trust was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression. Shortly after his death, his family founded the Trust in order to educate young people on the importance of staying mentally well and how to do so.
Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to us.
We provide Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Integrative Counselling, Psychotherapy, Bereavement Counselling, Anger Management, Couple Counselling, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Child & Family Therapy.
The Corner is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for young people aged 10-18 in Sheffield. We offer advice and support to young people in the Sheffield area who are experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol.
Counselling psychotherapy (including art therapy) and hypnotherapy for adults, children and young people. Also therapeutic massage. For a range of common personal problems and life issues.
Sheffield Drug and Alcohol/Domestic Abuse Coordination Team (DACT) are responsible for two separate areas of work; support for victims of domestic abuse, and support and treatment for drug and alcohol misuse.
You might not realise it, but emotional and mental health issues are quite common and you’re not on your own – we’re here to support you. Sometimes you just need space to think, and that’s cool, we all do. You can do that at Door43. At Door43, lots of different people work together to make sure that we always have someone to hand who can help – including youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers, peer supporters and more!
This site is all about helping you to help your friends who might be struggling to cope emotionally.
Sheffield's young people’s wellbeing charity, supporting hundreds of young people aged 11-19 to holistically ‘unearth their value’ and recognise their potential and worth. Support includes drop in sessions, group self-esteem and mental health courses, 1:1 mentoring, wellbeing activities and much more. Based in S11 (Psalter Lane) and open to all young people in Y7-13 for support both in schools, and through after school activities.
Interchange Sheffield is an emotional well-being service for children and young people under 25. We provide a range of interventions aimed at supporting their emotional well-being and mental health, including counselling, art therapy, therapeutic group work, resilience building and mental health aware-ness raising workshops.
Every year, Multi Agency Support Teams (MAST) support thousands of families by delivering parenting programmes, whole family key worker support and through health and play based activity in our Family Centres.
The Mental Health Foundation is the UK’s charity for everyone’s mental health. With prevention at the heart of what we do, we aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems.
We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
NSPCC and O2 To children, online life is real life. NSPCC joined forces with O2 to help parents explore and understand online life as kids know it.
NHS- Sleep Tips for Teenagers
Child abuse is preventable - not inevitable. And it’s up to each of us to do everything possible to keep childhood safe from abuse, so children can grow up healthy and thrive. That’s why we're here and drives what we do. So as long as there’s abuse – we will fight for every childhood.
Are you aged 12-25 and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or are affected by HIV? Would you like to access information and support?
We are here for everyone, but in particular, we give help and guidance to young people. Whatever their situation, Sheffield Futures will make sure they are given every opportunity to achieve a better future.
Sheffield Young Carers is an independent charity that has existed in Sheffield since 1997. We are dedicated to supporting young carers across the city.
We provide non-judgmental support to people affected by eating disorders.
We’re the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health.
YoungMinds' free parents' helpline on 0808 802 5544 for advice.
In addition to the leaflets below you may also find those on the 'Student' section useful