How to spot when a child or young person is struggling, how you can support them, and what additional help is available.
Anyone can experience a mental health problem at some point in their life. As with a physical illness, it’s important to take action to get well again.
However, it can be difficult to know if someone’s struggling. It might also feel awkward or challenging to offer help or know how to respond and support a loved one.
Our infographic will help you recognise the signs and, with advice from Dr Leanne Johnson, one of our psychologists, make a difference to someone in need.
What is a mental health problem?
Our mental health impacts how we feel and think and also affects how we behave. All of this can negatively impact our quality of life. Mental health problems can be debilitating and can have a serious impact on physical health too.
Common mental health problems include anxiety and depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms can vary, but often include loneliness, grief and shame. It can be caused by anything that causes these feelings, such as bereavement, family difficulties, and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Offering help and support
We all want to help, but sometimes we’re not sure of the right way to go about it. Maybe you’re worried you’ll say the wrong thing or make it worse. Someone listening and taking them seriously is often a helpful step, so start there.
Mental health and fostering
More than 62 percent of ‘looked after’ and fostered children are in care due to abuse or neglect, which negatively impacts mental health and emotional wellbeing.
National Fostering Group takes mental health seriously. We want our foster children to get the best possible outcomes and give them all the support they need to do this.
Foster carers are offered specialist training in therapeutic foster care and ‘wraparound’ foster care for those who are looking after foster children who are especially vulnerable. In addition,our children have access to mental health professionals including psychiatrists if they need it.