What to do if your child needs mental health support
Where to get help
The National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NDCAMHS) works with D/deaf children and young people aged 0 – 18 who have emotional or behavioural issues. They specialise in supporting children and young people:
- with a severe to profound hearing loss
- who have D/deaf parents
- who use BSL as their first language
The service helps children to cope with and understand their emotions, feelings and thoughts and is available for children experiencing:
- anger issues
- behaviour challenges
- eating problems
- family issues – a relative may have died, or parents may be divorcing
- friendship problems – a child may be bullied
- school challenges
- suicidal feelings
You can ask a professional working with your child to make a referral to an NDCAMHS, such as:
- Health visitors
- Social workers
- Youth counsellors
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) provides a helpline, support groups and other events and services which can support you and your family.
Difficult behaviour might only last a short time. All children go through stages of feeling anxious or angry. They can show this in lots of ways, for example, tantrums, crying, sleeping problems or fighting with friends or siblings. They might be adapting to a change in the family or at school, or just trying out new emotions. Children will generally grow out of worrying behaviour on their own or with family support.
Looking after yourself
If your child is having problems, don’t be too hard on yourself or blame yourself. Children often take it out on those closest to them. You might be feeling the effect of their very powerful emotions.
If you had a difficult time growing up, or have had emotional problems or mental health challenges, it can be very worrying to think that the same thing might happen to your child. But the love and care you show them and the fact that you are trying to help will protect against this. Getting help for them and perhaps for yourself too can give them the best chance of feeling better.
More advice for parents can be found at YoungMinds.