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The Oaktree School

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Supporting Your Children's Wellbeing

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is all about how we think, feel, and behave. 

Mental health also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through to adulthood.

Over the course of our life if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behaviour could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Early warning signs of mental health difficulties

Here is a list of  some feelings and behaviours which can be an early warning sign that you might be struggling with your mental health. Don't worry, there's lots of help available. 

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Having little or no energy
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Pulling away from family, friends and activities that you usually enjoy
  • Shouting or arguing with family and friends
  • Feeling more upset, worried, angry, forgetful, confused or scared than usual
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Thinking of harming yourself or other people
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Worrying about things that don't usually worry you
  • Having thoughts and memories that you can't get out of your head.

Useful Resources

When you child is struggling, or just not feeling great, it can be hard for them to remember the help strategies that they have been taught. Mindworks have created some helpsheets (links below) that may be helpful to look at when your child is in need of some support.

It can also be helpful to look at these pages when they are not struggling so that they feel more confident to use these strategies if things get more difficult. It may be helpful to share these helpsheets with friends and family, the people who care about them, so that they can remind children of these strategies too.






Distressing Thoughts

Drugs and Alcohol

Eating Disorders

Hope Box

Looking after yourself - self care

Neurodevelopmental needs and resources

Self harm

Sleep Problems


Other resources for parents, including managing emotions on the school run

Please find further links to websites below that can give you further advice to support your child's wellbeing and mental health.

The Children and Young People's Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service

Surrey Wellbeing

Getting help in a mental health crisis

Child Mental Health & Wellbeing - 10 Top Tips for Parents

MindEd for Familes - Safe and Reliable advice about young people's mental health, created by experts and parents together.

Parents' Mental Health & Wellbeing - 10 Top Tips for Parents

PSHE essential information for parents and carers

Young Minds

Other helpful links and resources