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Parents Helpline

We offer tailored information, advice and support to parents and carers who are concerned about their child or young person’s mental health. You can speak to us over the phone, or chat to us online.

You can use our Helpline service if you are the parent or main carer of a child or young person aged 25 or under. It is available across the UK and is completely free.

Chat to us online

  • To chat to us online, click on the chat icon in the bottom righthand corner of your screen. We’re open Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to 4pm.

    When we’re closed, you can still leave us a message in the chat. We’ll reply to you by email in 3-5 working days.

About our service

We support parents and carers who are concerned about their child or young person’s mental health.

You might contact us because you’re worried about how your child or young person is feeling or behaving. Or you might need advice about finding mental health support for them. Whatever your concern is, our advisers want to understand what’s happening and support you to take the next step.

Please be aware that we are not a crisis service. If your child or young person needs urgent help, we have a list of services that can support you now.

Urgent help information

We're here for main carers too

We support main carers of children and young people, as well as parents. You might be a kinship carer, legal guardian, foster carer, grandparent or sibling. If you are the child or young person’s main carer, we want to support you. Our advisers are trained and experienced in supporting carers as well as parents.

If you are a family member or friend, but you are not the child or young person’s main carer, see our online information for advice around how you can support them. You can also encourage their parent or main carer to contact us.

If you are a professional looking for information about supporting the young people you work with, see our resources for professionals.

Speak to us on the phone

Over the phone, we can provide detailed information and advice about your child or young person’s mental health. We can also offer you emotional support and direct you to other services that may be able to help.

You can call our Parents Helpline for free on 0808 802 5544, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4pm.

What to expect from a Helpline call:

  • 1. Introducing ourselves
    When you phone us, you’ll get through to a trained adviser. They will introduce themselves and ask a few questions about the child or young person you’re calling about.
  • 2. Hearing your concerns
    The adviser will listen to you, talk through your concerns and offer emotional support. They will also think with you about your child or young person’s feelings and behaviours.
  • 3. Giving you advice
    They will then give practical advice about what you can do next, and make sure you feel confident about putting this into action.
  • 4. Email follow-up
    After your call, you will receive an email with information about the resources and services that may be able to help you further.
  • 5. Confidentiality
    Your call will be completely confidential unless we have concerns about someone’s safety. Calls will be recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

You can use Typetalk or Textdirect to speak to us over the phone if you are hard of hearing or speech impaired. If English is not your first language, you can use our translation service. See our FAQs for more information.

The person I spoke to was so helpful. She listened and signposted me to a wealth of other resources at a time when I was so distressed I had no idea which way to turn. For the first time, I felt as though there was someone out there for me – who could help me through all this.
Helpline caller
A mother hugging her daughter on the sofa

Chat to us online

Over chat, we can direct you to resources and services that might be able to help you. When you chat to us, you’ll be speaking one-to-one with a trained adviser.

To chat to us online, click on the chat icon in the bottom righthand corner of your screen.

We’re open Monday to Friday, from 9:30am to 4pm.

Leave us a message if we're closed

If we’re closed, you can leave us a message instead. We will send a personal response by email in 3-5 working days.

To leave a message, click the chat icon in the bottom righthand corner of your screen and follow the instructions.

What to expect when you chat to us online:

  • 1. Understanding your concerns
    When you click on the chat icon, you will be asked a few questions by our chat assistant before we connect you with an adviser. This helps us to understand the concerns you need support with.
  • 2. Connecting you to an adviser
    After you have completed these questions, we will place you in a queue. We will connect you with the next available adviser as soon as possible.
  • 3. Clarifying your concerns
    When you are connected with an adviser, they may ask you a few more questions so they can fully understand your concerns.
  • 4. Signposting you to advice
    The adviser will then direct you to helpful information on our website. They may also provide details of other services that can offer support.
  • 5. Email follow-up
    The conversation will last around ten minutes. Afterwards, we can send you a copy of the conversation by email if you would like one.
  • 6. Confidentiality
    Your conversation will be completely confidential unless we have concerns about someone’s safety. Conversations are recorded for monitoring and training purposes.

Helpline FAQs

Yes. Please use Typetalk or Textdirect to contact us over the phone. Or chat to us online instead.

Phone

Yes. We can provide a translation service when you phone us. This means you can speak to us in your first language. To do this, please:

  1. Call the Helpline and tell us which language you want to speak in.
  2. We will then arrange for an interpreter to join the call.
  3. We will phone you back within 10 minutes. There will be an interpreter on the call with us. We will then continue the call with the interpreter.

Webchat

Yes. We can provide a translation service. This means you can chat to us in your first language.

Follow these instructions to use the service:

  1. When you open the chat window, you will be asked some questions by our chat assistant. They will ask whether you would like to speak to us in a different language. Please select ‘yes’ and then select the language you want to chat to us in.
  2. You can then start typing in the language you want to use.
  3. When you are connected with an adviser, they will use a translation service to chat to you.

Yes, except if we are worried about someone’s safety.

We know it can be difficult to call the first time. But rest assured, your conversation will remain completely confidential unless we suspect that a child, young person or vulnerable adult may be experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, harm.

If we need to share any information with anyone outside of YoungMinds, we will inform you first. This is unless there is immediate risk to life that requires very quick action. Read more in our safeguarding policy.

We will keep a record of your conversation on a secure and confidential database. This will help if you need to talk to us again. For more information about how we use and store your data, read our privacy policy.

No, our Helpline does not support young people directly. YoungMinds provides online information and advice for young people. But we cannot:

  • Offer any direct support, such as counselling or therapy, to young people.
  • Do assessments, make referrals for assessments, or provide diagnoses.
  • Process referrals to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), adult mental health services or other local support services.
  • Provide families with ongoing support, as we are a one-off service.

No. Our Helpline cannot offer any advice around medications prescribed to young people.

If you are looking for information about this, you can use our young person’s guide to medication. Or you can speak to the medical professional who is supporting them.

No. We cannot provide families with ongoing support, as we are a one-off service.

A father and son chatting outside near a fence

More information and advice