Wellbeing at home and school

Find out about the tools and resources available for parents and carers to support their child's wellbeing.

Youth mental health

If you or your child needs immediate help go to the Mental Health Foundation’s get help in crisis page. 

Your child’s wellbeing at school

It’s important that our schools have an inclusive and welcoming culture, with strong links to their community.

Teachers play a vital role in promoting wellbeing by, among other things, fostering caring and supportive relations, and responding to warning signs of emotional distress. However it is important to remember that as educators, they are not mental health experts.

If you have concerns about your child’s wellbeing at school, feel like they are not getting the support they need or are being bullied, talk to their teacher or the school counsellor or principal.

If your child is being bullied online, Netsafe have advice for parents and can help schools or parents develop a plan to stop the online harassment, bullying or abuse.

Check in with your child regularly

Spending quality time with your child is important and will help you to regularly check in with them about how they are doing and the things going on in their lives. If you think your child may be anxious or depressed, talk with them about how they are feeling and ensure they have someone to talk to.

Young people often need help to develop the skills to manage situations where they might feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, but research shows that parents are four to five times more likely to refer children with disruptive disorders to a health professional than children with symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Talking with your child

Common Ground has some great advice about how to have healthy conversations with your child or a young person you know, and things to keep an eye out for. There is helpful information on dealing with common issues such as parents separating, anxiety, depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts and feelings. If you’re worried, take action or seek professional support.

All Right? also has some great parenting guides to help you help your child manage their worries and stay calm.

The Mental Health Foundation has advice for parents about helpful conversations to have with your child about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which raised some very challenging issues, including youth suicide.

Help for your child

The Lowdown and Youthline websites are designed to help young people going through a hard time, and Aunty Dee is designed to help Māori and Pasifika children and young people work through their problems.

Common Ground has information on how to establish a support network for your child or a young person you are concerned about.

Netsafe can help deal with online harassment, bullying or abuse.

If you’re worried about your child, take action or seek professional support.

Supporting your child’s overall wellbeing

Another way to support your child before they need professional support, is to help them stay well in all aspects of their life.

Common Ground’s Te Whare Tapa Wha approach has suggestions to support the overall wellbeing of children and young people in aspects of their lives: physical health, family relationships, spirituality, mental and emotional health.

The Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways To Wellbeing helps everyone to remember the five things in life that help us stay happy, healthy and well, by giving small examples to practice the Five Ways each day. You could sign up and play the Mental Health Foundation's Wellbeing Game as a family.

The All Right? project has created six parenting guides with handy tips and tricks to help your child be calm, be grateful and manage worries. This project came out of the Canterbury earthquake but has been adapted to help you help your child manage their daily demands and worries with the aim of preventing the little things turning into big things.

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