It’s been a busy start to the year for the Good Thinking team with Great Mental Health Day (27 January) and Children’s Mental Health Week (6-13 February). To mark these important initiatives, we’ve produced a series of quick guides that help Londoners to look out for other people who may be struggling with their mental health. This week, we’re launching the final two guides – one to help children and young people support their friends and another to help parents and carers support their kids.
Children’s Mental Health Week (#ChildrensMentalHealthWeek), which is organised by the charity Place2Be, shines a spotlight on children and young people’s mental health and highlights the importance of early intervention to address issues before they become more serious. With this year’s theme being ‘Let’s connect’, we’re proud that our new Good Thinking guides will help families across London to make meaningful connections and support other people’s mental wellbeing.
Over the last five years, we’ve worked with various youth organisations, including Partnership for Young London, The Student Room, Muslim Youth Helpline and The Diana Award, to co-create Good Thinking resources based on lived experience of mental ill health. For Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, we’ve once again teamed up with Partnership for Young London to get direct input from teens and also worked with Thrive LDN to incorporate its conversation starter tips in our new guides.
Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find in the guides, which are available here. We hope you find them helpful as a way to connect and take care of your family and friends.
Looking out for your friends
Good Thinking's quick guide to help children and young people support friends who may be struggling with their mental health.
Being kind and looking out for others is an important part of being a good friend. In this guide, we suggest three simple steps that children and young people can take to support their friends who may be experiencing anxiety, stress or other mental health concerns.
- Step 1: Spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health in someone else
- Step 2: Check in and let them know you care
- Step 3: Help them to get the support they need, including professional help
In the guide, we’ve included a series of practical tips on starting a conversation, which were developed by Thrive LDN in collaboration with pupils and teachers at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Wimbledon. Plus, there are links to useful Good Thinking resources – including free NHS-approved wellbeing apps, such as Clear Fear and Feeling Good Teens – and other support organisations.
If you’re a parent or carer, please share this guide with your own child and also read our other guide for parents and carers (see below).
Looking out for children and young people
Good Thinking’s quick guide to help parents and carers support their child if they are struggling with their mental health.
This guide is also structured around three simple steps (1. Spot the signs, 2. Check in, 3. Help them get support) that help parents and carers to check in with their child and support their wellbeing.
We know how difficult it can be to discuss mental health with a young person so we hope you find Thrive LDN’s conversation starter helpful. Developed in collaboration with St Mary’s RC Primary School, Wimbledon, it includes advice about finding a quiet space to chat, listening carefully and helping your child to take control of the next steps.
Of course, we recognise that some children and teenagers need urgent support or professional help. So, as well as recommending free NHS-approved wellbeing apps and other Good Thinking resources, we’ve included signposts to charity and NHS helplines.
Please share this guide with your friends who have children. If your child would like to support their own friends, our other guide is a great starting point (see above).