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Encouraging positive mental health in children

Talk about mental health in society is on the increase, which is only a good thing. The more we can 'up' the awareness and normality of talking about and addressing this enormous aspect of our health, the better. However, it can sometimes feel a little as though the more we uncover, the more we realise there is to uncover!

Many of us are parents, and during the process of working on our own mental health, we have started to become aware and question the best ways to ensure positive habits are incorporated into the upbringing of the young people in our lives.

In this blog, we explore a few ways in which we can encourage a healthy approach to good mental health in our children and young people.

1 Make it part of every day conversation. Something becomes less taboo, and less intimidating when it's part of every day life. You can somewhat take the power out of 'scary' subjects like feeling anxious or low by making conversations about feelings, emotions and worries something that feels very familiar and normal.

2 Know the signs. Much like physical illness, it pays to recognise some of the early signs that things aren't as healthy as they could be. We suggest doing some reading, or talking to a professional about some of the age-specific signs of poor mental health. Some great resources for this include Young Minds and The Whole Child.

3 Get support. Parenting can feel really challenging, and you're not in it alone. Even if you don't have a partner you can work with your doctor, school and other wellbeing professionals to get support, wither for your child and/or for yourself too.

4 Healthy Lifestyle. As with anything to do with health, you have to look at the overall picture. Our body's and minds aren't separate entities and if you increase the 'healthiness' in one area, it'll have an impact across the board. You can have a positive effect on mental health by adopting as healthy-as-possible lifestyle including nutrition, sleep, stress levels, outdoor time, exercise and creativity.

5 Having plenty of time for play and exploration. It doesn't matter what age, this applies to adults too! Life is busy with school, homework, chores, exercise, social dates etc but there should be plenty of room to explore creativity, hobbies, ideas and art too.

6 Fostering a calm environment. The mind and body need to feel safe in order to rest and restore. Trying to foster a calm environment might be easier said than done if you have a busy lifestyle or home, move a lot or have a lot going on. There are ways to encourage this by having wooed zones, privacy boundaries, quiet times and calm conversations.

7. Love is all you need. The saying has stuck for a reason. We are human, and we understand the challenges of life and parenting, that's why we are professionals at supporting people through the difficulties that these things can bring. Fundamentally, children know - they feel the truth. Even if you feel like other areas of life aren't ''perfect'' (spoiler alert: perfect doesn't exist!) then as long as you show love, support, affection and care then you're doing a wonderful job and giving your children what they need most.

If you are interested in learning more about this subject or would like to explore some ways of getting further support, then keep an eye on our events page, as we regularly host wellbeing talks, workshops - particularly around families and young people.

You can also book a 1:1 session with one of our highly trained counsellors and therapists - you can email us on to be sign-posted to the right place, or just book quickly and easily online here.

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