Concerned about a child?
This site is designed to give expert-informed guidance to help school staff understand and promote children’s mental health. We are not expecting staff to become mental health experts.
If you are worried that a child is at risk, involve your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) (or designated senior person/child protection officer) as a priority. They will contact the parents/carers and other services as necessary. If the child is at immediate risk, please ensure that they are taken, urgently, to their GP or A&E – either by their parents/carers or, where parental contact is not possible, by the school DSL.
Starting a conversation about mental health
It can feel difficult to start a conversation about mental health. The following pages contain tips, advice and guidance for opening up conversations about mental health and wellbeing with children and parent/carers:
- How to start a conversation with children about mental health.
- How to start a conversation with a parent/carer.
We have also created a printable tip sheet for having a conversation with children about mental health.
Need further help?
There are several national agencies and helplines that can provide further help, advice and support:
- NSPCC: advice and support if you’re worried about a child. Call their expert helpline (24/7) on 0808 800 5000, visit their website or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Education Support Partnership: free, national 24/7 helpline available to teaching staff. Call 08000 562 561, email: email@example.com or visit their website for online chat.
- YoungMinds: parents’ helpline provides information and advice to parents/carers who are worried about a child or young person’s wellbeing/mental health. The service is available 9.30am–4.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0808 802 5544.
- Childline: free, confidential helpline or online/email chat (24/7) for anyone under the age of 19. Call 0800 1111; email via the Childline website, or go to online counsellor chat.