Child welfare and related professionals may work with parents and caregivers who are having a difficult time coping with a child or youth's mental health needs. When professionals and others are aware of mental health concerns—and have the tools and information to better support caregivers in accessing assessment, diagnosis, and treatment—they may be better equipped to improve family and child social and emotional well-being. Additionally, parents and caregivers may also have their own mental health conditions or traumatic histories that can affect their ability to parent effectively. This section provides resources for professionals that support parenting practices aimed at children and youth with mental health challenges as well as for families experiencing mental health concerns.
Provides age-specific answers to questions common throughout child development. For example, articles include signs of depression specific to grade school children and strategies for reducing separation anxiety in toddlers.
For Parents and Caregivers
Outlines signs of mental health distress among children and youth and provides information about finding appropriate mental health professionals and initiating mental health discussions.
Learning to Help Your Child and Your Family
National Alliance on Mental Illness (2020)
Guides parents on methods for creating a community of support for children and youth experiencing mental health concerns.
Mental Health Resources for Parents
The Check-In Project
Guides parents in engaging their children in conversations about mental health and provides information about common mental health conditions.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
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The SAHM App - Thrive
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) (2020)
Describes an app designed to support parents in helping youth take ownership of their mental and physical health care.
Self-Care for Parents of Children With Mental Health Needs
Nationwide Children’s (2017)
Provides recommendations for parents of children with mental health challenges, including identifying resources, taking breaks, and releasing guilt.
Mom's Mental Health Matters
National Child and Maternal Health Education Program
Educates about common mental health challenges during pregnancy and after birth and provides treatment and support recommendations.
Mental Health America
Describes how children may react to learning about their parent’s mental health challenges and provides recommendations for how to initiate and guide conversations about mental health.
When Your Parents Have Mental Illness: Healing Childhood Trauma
National Alliance on Mental Health
Provides practical tips for adolescents and young adults who are living with parents experiencing a mental health challenge. Tips include learning to self-soothe, engaging in healthy relationships, and meditating.