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YoungMinds Parents' Helpline

The YoungMinds Parents’ Helpline offers free confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.

  • Call us Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm on 0808 802 5544. Free to mobiles and landlines.
  • Email parents@youngminds.org.uk and we will respond to your query within 3 working days.
  • We can support callers from any part of the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Our helpline service (by phone and email ) is confidential. This means our discussions with people who contact us for advice are private and we will not share personal information with anyone else, without asking first.

The only exception is if we have reasonable cause to believe a child or vulnerable adult may be at risk of harm or in danger.

whO contactS youngminds?

Parents, carers, grandparents, foster carers - any adult who is worried about a child or young person's emotions, behaviour or mental health

We also advise professionals including teachers, school nurses, social workers and counsellors.

What do people  ask about?

Any concerns they have about a child’s emotions or behaviour, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Behavioural problems
  • Eating Problems
  • Depression
  • Family relationships
  • School problems
  • Self-harm

These are just a few of the subjects we hear about. If you are concerned about your child, contact us or look at our Worried about your child? section.

Some parents contact us wondering if their worries are justified, or if their child's behaviour is normal. Others have children with diagnosed difficulties but are struggling to get the help they need, or need to know how to manage their child’s behaviour while waiting to get professional help.

What happens when you call us?

When you ring the helpline number, you’ll speak to one of our friendly, trained helpline advisers. They will explore your concerns and find out what’s worrying you, and what support you have had so far. They can advise on practical steps you can take to get help, and relevant local or national services. They can also post you information from our wide range of leaflets and factsheets.

Callers who need further advice will be offered a free confidential telephone consultation from a YoungMinds child and family mental health specialist. Our advisers include psychotherapists, psychiatrists and mental health nurses, all are qualified in child and adolescent mental health. They can give advice on your child’s behaviour, making the best use of services, and how to move the situation on.

You will receive a call within 7 working days of requesting it, at a time convenient to you, on your mobile or landline. Calls last up to 50 minutes. They give parents a chance to think through the situation with an expert, and to work out the best way to resolve the problem.

what happens when you email us?

Sometimes it’s easier to write things down when they are really worrying you. Email parents@youngminds.org.uk anytime for advice. Our friendly, trained advisers will reply within 3 working days (often sooner).

(If other people can read your emails and you would prefer to keep the content private, you may prefer to telephone us).

accessibility

If English is not your first language, please don't be put off - we are members of LanguageLine and can arrange for an interpreter to help you make your call, and to receive your callback if appropriate.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, speech–impaired or deafblind, please use Typetalk or Textdirect services to contact us, and we will be happy to help you. More information on these services is available at www.typetalk.org.

Alternatively if appropriate you may wish to email us and you can receive advice from the mental health professionals via email too.

Let us know what you think of our service

If you've used the helpline or email service, or looked at the parents' pages on the website, we would love to know what you think. Getting feedback from parents and carers helps us know how we're doing and if there's anything we can do to improve the service.

Email your comments to parents@youngminds.org.uk.

One parent's story

I called YoungMinds about my 14-year-old son Jamie, his behaviour was really bad at home and at school and he was about to be excluded. Nothing I said or did seemed to make any difference - I was at the end of my tether and felt like such a bad parent.

"The person who answered the phone was really friendly and put me at ease. I didn't feel judged or blamed which was how the school had made me feel.

"She asked me all about Jamie and what was going on for him, and how we were coping as a family. She found out what was happening at school, and talked about the sort of help that might be useful to try and get Jamie back on track. I was sent some helpful leaflets for me and Jamie, and the helpline adviser organised a phone consultation for me from a YoungMinds child mental health specialist.

"I had nearly an hour on the phone with the YoungMinds child mental health specialist - we talked about Jamie’s behaviour and how to deal with it so things didn't escalate when he was angry. She helped me think about how Jamie might be feeling, as his dad and I had recently split up and things were very difficult between us. Jamie's 'playing up' might be his way of showing how sad he was about the divorce.

"We also talked about school. Jamie was dyslexic and finding it hard to keep up in class, which he was embarrassed about. She gave me lots of good advice about who to ask for help and what support the school should be giving him.

"A few weeks later, Jamie seems much less angry, and the YoungMinds booklets have helped him talk about his feelings a bit. He is doing better at school as they are giving him extra help with his dyslexia. The teachers have listened to me and we had a meeting about what we can all do to support him. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel - thanks to YoungMinds for being there for us when we needed help.”

Parents' helpline service standards

The Helpline Standard.YoungMinds is committed to:

  • Treating all parents who contact us with respect, listening to their concerns and doing our best to help
  • Answering your call within 30 seconds once you get through
  • Delivering calls from our child mental health specialists within seven working days
  • Providing written information packs within 5 working days
  • Responding to emails within 3 working days.