Young people in East Sussex are offering ‘top ten tips’ to help parents and carers support children’s mental health after a survey of almost 1,000 people found children, parents and carers had different ideas on what helps youngsters’ emotional wellbeing.

The guide includes simple tips such as being open and honest, picking the right time to talk, trusting children to know their own mental health and to ‘listen first, talk later’ – and also reminds parents and carers to look after their own mental wellbeing.

The tips, compiled by East Sussex Youth Cabinet and Seaford Youth Forum, appear on posters and postcards to be distributed first in Seaford and then around the county in the spring. A campaign will be launched on social media from November 18 and shared at an event with parents and carers at Seaford Head School on December 11th from 4.00 to 6.00pm.

East Sussex Youth Cabinet member Bea Montgomerie-Christie, 17, said: “In our research we found a lot of information on mental health, but it wasn’t always accessible or useful for parents and carers. They really want support and good advice and would benefit from knowing about websites and other resources that can help.”

The young people spoke to teachers, families and health professionals and surveyed 589 young people and 368 parents and carers. They found parents overestimated how effective they were at having open and honest conversations with their children and how likely their child was to talk to them about any issues – young people said they would be more likely to speak to friends, siblings or teachers.

Some of the young people involved were interviewed about the scheme for BBC Sussex’s Raising Teens programme due to air on Monday 16th December at 8pm.

Information for parents is available online at the dedicated East Sussex-focused website www.openforparents.org.uk


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