Parents and Carers Resources

Parents and Carers Resources

1 Parents and Carers Guide to Support

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. They provide support for parents including a Parents Survival Guide, a Parents Helpline and a Parents Guide To Support A-Z which gives advice on how to help your child with specific mental health conditions, and life events which might be negatively affecting their wellbeing. Including information on where you can get help for the following issues: abuse, ADHD, anger, anxiety, babies and infants under five, counselling, depression, divorce, domestic violence, drugs, eating problems, exam times, gender identity, grief and loss, legal support, parental mental illness, school anxiety, school refusal, self-esteem, self-harm, social media, Mental Health Capacity Act 2005, working with your child’s school


2 Talking to your child about coronavirus

Kids worry more when they’re kept in the dark. News of the coronavirus COVID-19 is everywhere, from the front page of all the papers to the playground at school. This cartoon provides a way for adults to bring up the epidemic in a way that will be reassuring and not make kids more worried than they already may be. See here for a great cartoon explanation of Coronavirus, download the PDF for free click here

If you are a parent or carer and want advice on how to talk to your child about coronavirus (COVID-19), here are some tips from YoungMinds Parents Helpline team:

  1. Try not to shield your child from the news, as it’s likely they will find out somehow from school, being online or from friends.
  2. Talk to your child about what is going on. You could start by asking them what they have heard.
  3. Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking can help them feel calm.
  4. Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you.
  5. Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, show them how to wash their hands properly, and remind them when they should be doing it.
  6. Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
  7. Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (e.g. reading, playing, painting, cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. For activities ideas, visit our starting a conversation with your child guide.
  8. Encourage your child to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
  9. Be aware that your child may want more close contact with you at this time and feel anxious about separation. Try to provide this support whenever possible.
  10. Remember to look after yourself too. If you yourself are feeling worried, or anxious about coronavirus, talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.


Family Lock Down Tips and Ideas Facebook Group: This group has been set up to provide support, tips and ideas if you are at home with your family in light of the Coronavirus. Being at home with children can be challenging at the best of times and so extra help, support and planning can make this uncertain time hopefully a bit easier!

3 Wellbeing Apps  

There are a number of apps available out there that can be useful in helping to understand and manage our mental health wellbeing:


Big White Wall is an online community for people who are stressed, anxious or feeling low. The service has an active forum with round-the-clock support from trained professionals. You can talk anonymously to other members and take part in group or one-to-one therapy with therapists.

eQuoo: Emotional Fitness Game
The eQuoo app uses adventure games designed by psychologists to help you increase your emotional fitness and teach you new psychological skills. You’ll also find tips on how to communicate more effectively and maintain your mental wellbeing.

Feeling Good: positive mindset Relax your body and mind with a series of audio tracks designed to help you build confidence, energy and a positive mindset. Available on Apple and Android

Insight Timer This app is free with meditations for parents and children. They focus on relaxation, managing stress, concentration, and sleep, as examples.

MindShift is a free app designed to help teens and young adults cope with anxiety. It can help you change how you think about anxiety. Rather than trying to avoid anxiety, you can make an important shift and face it. Lists symptoms of anxiety. Offers strategies to manage worry, panic, conflict, ordinary anxiety, and three specialised categories of anxiety: test anxiety, social anxiety, and perfectionism. Also contains relaxation exercises

Mood Tracker A website/app which lets you track moods and sleep patterns helping to manage depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder.

MoodGYM is a free, fun, interactive program to help young people with low mood. Based on cognitive behaviour and interpersonal therapy, it consists of five modules, which help you to explore: – Why you feel the way you do – Changing the way you think – Knowing what makes you upset – Assertiveness and interpersonal skills training

My Possible Self The Mental Health App Take control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour with the My Possible Self mental health app. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking. Record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health.

My Possible Self The Mental Health App Take control of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour with the My Possible Self mental health app. Use the simple learning modules to manage fear, anxiety and stress and tackle unhelpful thinking. Record your experiences and track symptoms to better understand your mental health.

Peanut An online community for mothers to meet up, share parenting advice and support each other

Recovery Record is the smart companion for managing your journey to recovery from eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, obsessive eating disorder, binge eating disorder and compulsive eating disorder.

Rise Up + Recover is just the app for you if you are struggling with food, dieting, exercise and body image. Based off self-monitoring homework, a cornerstone of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), it is a simple and convenient app that has been used millions of time around the world.

SAM was developed by UWE Bristol and is designed to help manage anxiety using a number of different techniques. You can find out more about it here

Silvercloud A free eight-week course to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression. You work through a series of topics selected by a therapist to address specific needs. The eight-week course is designed to be completed in your own time and at your own pace.

Sleepio An online sleep improvement programme, clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster. The programme is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for insomnia (CBTi). You can use it to learn cognitive techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally, without relying on sleeping pills.

Sleepstation Free with GP referral Sleepstation is a 6-week online course for people who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. The course is tailored to your needs, using the information you provide, and gives you access to a team of sleep experts who will offer helpful advice and support throughout.

Stop, Breathe & Thinkuses mindfulness and guided breathing exercises to help you manage feelings of anxiety and can help you to keep track of how you are feeling. You can find out more about it here

Thrive The game based app can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, more stress-free life.

4 Crisis and Emergency Support Information

A mental health crisis is when you feel your mental health is at breaking point, and you need urgent help and support. For example, you might have feelings or experiences that feel very painful or difficult to manage such as suicidal feelings, self-harm, panic attacks, flashbacks, hypomania or mania, or psychosis (such as paranoia or hearing voices).

See Mind’s guide on ‘Suicidal feelings’ including information on how to get help in an emergency, possible causes and ways to cope.

Emergency and Urgent Care: 999 (24 hours)
NHS Non Emergency Number: 111 (24 hours)

Online Safety Plan:

Samaritans: 08457 909090 (24 hours) . If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, you can email Samaritans at Central London Samaritans provides emotional support and a drop-in service 9:00am – 9:00pm every day at 46 Marshall Street London W1F 9BF.

Maytree House: They offer a free 4 night, 5 day stay for adults, with the opportunity to be heard in complete confidence, in a caring, safe environment.

The Listening Place offers a warm and welcoming environment; somewhere that individuals can talk openly about their feelings without being judged or being given advice.

Please note: If you are in need of urgent support, this link below provides information on how you can access crisis support. If you don’t feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help. If it is not life-threatening but you would like to see someone right away, make your own way to your local A&E department.


Nightstop – Emergency Accommodation ( 

Housing Advice ( 

Family Mediation ( 

Counselling ( 



The distrACT app on Apple and Android gives you easy, quick and discreet access to information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The content has been created by doctors and experts in self-harming and suicide prevention.

Stay alive is a free Apple or Android app that provides access to national helplines, a personalised mini-safety plan, and guidance on how to help others who may be suicidal

Physical Wellbeing

Echo Pharmacy: NHS prescriptions delivered to your door for free

myGP Book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and set up medication reminders on your smartphone

NHS App The NHS App lets you book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access a range of other healthcare services.

NHS Go The NHS Go app provides young people with confidential health advice and greater access to health information. You can find local services in some areas and learn about health and your rights as a user of the NHS.

Co-Op Health – NHS Repeat Prescriptions. You can order your repeat prescription from Co-op Health (formally Dimec), and choose how and where you get your medication. Download the free app on Apple and Android and:

  • get your medication where you want it – from any pharmacy in England or delivered to any address in the UK for free
  • order your medication directly from your phone or tablet – Co-op Health links to your GP surgery using an approved NHS connection meaning you can view, order and manage your repeat prescriptions securely
  • get updates about your order every step of the way

Rafi-Tone Asthma App: The Rafi-Tone app is designed to make using an inhaler with a spacer easier and more fun for young children with wheeze or asthma symptoms. With guidance from Rafi Robot, the app’s star, your child can improve their breathing technique.

vCreate Receive secure video updates from staff if your child is in hospital and you cannot be by their side. Asecure video messaging service that lets unit staff record and send secure video updates to parents when they’re unable to be by their child’s side.

Educational Activities

Popular Educational Resources for children:

BrainPop, Curiosity Stream, Tynker, Outschool, Udemy, iReady, Beast Academy (Math), Khan Academy, Creative Bug, Discovery Education

YouTube Channels:

Crash Course Kids, Science Channel, SciShow Kids, National Geographic Kids, Free School, Geography Focus, TheBrainScoop, SciShow, Kids Learning Tube, Geeek Gurl Diaries, Mike Likes Science, Science Max, SoulPancake