Need help now?

We don't provide mental health advice, counselling, or treatment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact your local community crisis team. You can also reach out to the Indigenous Hope for Wellness Help Line 1-855-242-3310, the Black Youth Helpline 1-833-294-8650, or Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868.

Your Role

Mental health is everyone’s business, and we all have a role to play. As a parent, guardian, caregiver or family member, you have a particularly special role in supporting child and youth mental health.

Naturally, this begins with supporting your own child(ren) and young family members, to help them to grow into mentally healthy and resilient adults. Understanding the sorts of skills that help to support good mental health in an ongoing way, and how best to reinforce these skills as part of regular family life, can also help to start and keep young people on a good path.

Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts, children and youth will struggle with their emotions, thoughts, or behaviours. Knowing the signs of difficulty and getting help early can make all the difference.

Finally, as a parent, guardian, caregiver or other family member, sometimes the most important thing you can do is to “be there”… walking alongside as your child learns and grows, stumbles and gets back up again. Inspiring hope and modeling resilience.

In this section of the School Mental Health Ontario website, we offer some information and ideas to help you to build and nurture your child’s mental health while your child is attending elementary or secondary school.

If you have ideas for additional topics that could be helpful to support parents and family members with their role, please contact us!

Parent and family role in supporting child and youth mental health

  1. Support social emotional skill development and overall well-being.
  2. Know the signs of mental health problems.
  3. Help your child to access support if you think professional help is needed.
  4. Be there for your child through the ups and downs of life.
  5. Take care of your own mental health and model good self-care!