If your child or young person tells you they are hearing voices, it is very important to try and react calmly, even if it is worrying or upsetting to hear. Research has shown that children whose parents and carers accept the voices as normal and not frightening are able to cope with them better.
You can try and find out from your child what the voices are saying, who they are and when they come. Ask your child if they are OK with the voices, or if they want them to go away.
Hearing voices may be a stage your child is going through, a way they have of making sense of things and learning to understand the world. By telling you, they might just be checking this is OK, and you may feel if everything is going well in their life, there is no need to get help. They may want to tell you about the voices every now and then, just to keep you in the picture.
If you are worried about your child hearing voices, and think they might be anxious, depressed or developing a mental illness, it is important to talk to the GP. You can go without the child if they do not want to come. It can be helpful to write down what your child has said about the voices and when they hear them, and to think if anything in particular might have unsettled them recently
If your child is under 18, your GP may decide your family needs to be referred to specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Your child should be assessed to try and find out what might be contributing to them hearing voices, and what could help them cope. You and other family members may be offered support too, so you can find out how to talk to your child about the voices.
If specialists think your child may be developing a mental illness, medication may be offered as part of the treatment, but this should be discussed with you and your child.
If your child is over 18 they will need to ask for the help themselves, by going to the GP. If they are not willing to do this you can still ask your GP for support for yourself, to help you cope with the situation.
Youth counselling services may also be able to help, and young people can refer themselves to these. Most will see young people between the ages of 13-25.