Emerging Minds, a Federally-funded infant and child mental health organisation, has launched a free online resource called Emerging Minds Families, an online information hub to help parents support children’s mental health

As a result of three years of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, mental health difficulties in infants and children has become more prevalent than people realise. This new online hub includes videos, fact sheets, web articles, and podcasts to equip parents and carers with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to support children’s mental health at home or while waiting for specialist support services.

Emerging Minds Families has been developed in partnership with Australian parents, families, and professionals to help adults who want to support their children’s mental health but may not be sure how. The resources cover a range of practical and easily accessible topics to improve understanding of good mental health, how to support children day-to-day and when difficulties emerge, and identifying when and how to access professional support.

Emerging Minds Director Brad Morgan said more than half of Australian children with poor mental health aren’t receiving professional help and seven out of ten parents aren’t confident they could recognise the signs of mental health difficulties in their child.

“It ‘takes a village’ to raise a child, with family, friends, educators, health and social service professionals together creating a safe, nurturing environment that helps build the foundations of positive mental health for children,” Mr Morgan said.

“While awareness of children’s mental health is growing, generally mental health literacy in Australia remains
low overall.

“By empowering adults with trusted, practical resources, Emerging Minds Families will strengthen resilience and change the mental health trajectory of future generations.”

Practical strategies covered in the Emerging Minds Families resources include:
• Anxiety – parenting a child who is experiencing anxiety, how anxiety presents at different stages of childhood and adolescence.
• Supporting children through floods, bushfires and drought – how natural disasters impact on children’s mental health; how to help children prepare for and recover after a natural disaster.
• Supporting parents and infants in the first year – understanding what infant mental health and wellbeing is; the impact of becoming a parent and the importance of self-care; depression and anxiety in new parents; managing infant crying, sleeping and feeding difficulties.
• When a parent experiences mental health challenges – how to talk to your child about your mental health, how families can support parents experiencing mental illness, parenting with a mental illness or difficulties.

About Emerging Minds:
Emerging Minds is dedicated to advancing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Australian infants, children, adolescents, and their families. The organisation leads the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health. Emerging Minds develops mental health policy, services, interventions, training, programs, and resources in response to the needs of professionals, children, and their families. It partners with family members, national and international organisations to implement evidence-based practice into the Australian context. The National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

To access these free mental health resources and for more information visit www.emergingminds.com.au/families

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