We are Paul Williamson (from left), Clare Tilley, Brydie Jordan and Brenton Carey from South West Healthcare’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). We support children and young people up to the age of 18 who have complex and severe emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. These difficulties often significantly impact many areas of their life such as schooling and family relationships. We work with young people and their families using a range of interventions depending on the individual needs and goals of each child.
Below are some tips from the CAMHS team to consider:
– Think about the best way to connect and chat with your young person. Is this through a walk together, playing a board game or cooking together? An activity is a good distraction and can make your chat more relaxed and help with opening up.
– When children share hard feelings our initial reaction may be to try and offer a solution, but often they just need us to sit with them, listen and acknowledge how they feel. Normalise your child’s feelings and let them know it’s OK to feel sad or worried sometimes.
– Purposefully make time each day to connect together doing something you both enjoy. It can be hard in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, but research tells us only 15 minutes of quality 1:1 time with your young person can make a significant difference.
– Control the things you can at home – encourage a regular bed time and good sleep, help your child get back into a routine, ensure they’re eating well and try and enable some social outlets and activities where possible.
– Remember to regularly check back in with your child. These are conversations we want to have many times over throughout their life.
Caring for the needs of others is a big job and is not always easy. To help our children, we as parents need to prioritise our own emotional health needs. Remember there is no perfect parent or carer, and young people don’t need us to be perfect and they will forgive us when we get it wrong and learn that it is OK to make mistakes. Please be kind to yourself in your role as a parent or carer and reach out for support from friends, family and services.
headspace (ages 12-25) – call 1800 650 890
Kids Helpline (ages 5-25) – call 1800 551 800
Lifeline (24/7 crisis support) – call 13 11 14
Beyond Blue (mental health support service) – call 1300 224 636
1800RESPECT (People impacted by sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse) – call 1800 737 732
QLife (LGBTI peer support and referral) – call 1800 184 527
Parent Line (free phone support service for parents) – call 13 22 89
Head to Health – https://www.headtohealth.gov.au
Emerging Minds – https://emergingminds.com.au
· Talk to your school about their wellbeing support options
· Talk to your GP about how to access a mental health professional through a mental health care plan
· Brophy Family and Youth Services offers a wide range of programs and supports – call 5561 8888
· CatholicCare offers family counselling and support to parents – call 5559 3000
· SWH CAMHS offers support for severe and complex mental health concerns – call 5561 9100
· Help is available 24 hours/day by phoning SWH Mental Health Services EMERGENCY LINE on 1800 808 284