Emotional wellbeing

Support for your emotional wellbeing

Below you’ll find advice and resources to help you and your child deal with anxiety. We also share tips on how to talk with them about their thoughts and their feelings. If you notice signs of anxiety, do not hesitate to contact their school. 

“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit.”
BKS Iyengar

Signs of anxiety and how to help

You might notice signs of anxiety in your child at various stages in their life: 

In children aged 3 to 5 years

These signs might include: 

  • behaviour such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting
  • fear of separation from you
  • tantrums
  • trouble sleeping
  • unexplained headaches or tummy aches
  • worries about family members or friends
  • feelings of responsibility for events 

In children aged 5 to 11 years

These signs might include: 

  • asking more questions than usual about something they have seen or heard
  • talking about an issue, even though you may have thought they were unaware of the situation
  • facing difficulty expressing emotions such as sadness, anger or fear
  • avoiding discussions about a particular subject
  • having trouble concentrating
  • showing changes in behaviour or emotions. For example, being more withdrawn, acting out, or being more judgemental than usual 

In children aged 11 to 14 years and above

These signs might include: 

  • picking fights with you or with their siblings
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • becoming afraid to leave the house
  • distancing themselves from their friends and family
  • showing intense emotions but being unable to talk about their feelings 

If you have concerns about your child and need extra support, contact your child’s school. 

Taking care of yourself

It’s important for you to take care of your own physical and mental health while also being a good parent. Children are very perceptive, and they react to what they sense from the adults. 

Here are some things you can do for your wellbeing: 

  • connect with others: nurture relationships with family and friends
  • exercise: take time every day to do a physical activity
  • eat healthy meals: keep a well-balanced diet and drink enough water
  • get plenty of sleep: sleep recharges your mind and body so get your 8 hours
  • turn off the news: a 24-hour news cycle can make you more anxious
  • do things you enjoy: take up a hobby you have always wanted to try
  • set goals: but don’t get anxious if you don't achieve them
  • go outside: make sure you get fresh air
  • talk to others: share concerns with family and friends 

How to talk to your child about a difficult situation

There is no set way to carry out conversations revolving around difficult topics. You can also work with your child’s school to get support. Together you can develop a consistent approach to solving problem.

 Here are some tips to help you: 

Listen when your child wants to talk 

  • if your child wants to talk to you, be there and make time for them
  • listen to your child’s version of events
  • listening gives you a way to address any incorrect information or use of language
  • be patient and give your child the opportunity to ask you questions
  • it’s alright to acknowledge that you may not know all the answers
  • it’s best not to force children to talk about things; wait until they are ready
  • know that your child may prefer to draw, write, or play with toys to express how they feel, rather than to talk

Have age-appropriate conversations 

  • use simple language to explain difficult words such as conflict, death, divorce
  • answer questions but not in too much detail. Children are often satisfied by short logical explanations
  • be factual rather than judgemental
  • don’t make unrealistic promises
  • keep calm and try not to share your own feelings during a crisis. This will be hard if it involves family or friends
  • remember that children are always listening, and they tend to learn from what they see and hear

Accept their emotions and tell them it is ok 

  • you can help your child have open conversations by telling them that it is ok to feel sad, upset or confused
  • give them permission to feel the way they do, and you will bring your child a sense of relief 

For younger children

Children pick up bits of information from adults, friends and the news. Often, they can misunderstand and misinterpret what they are hearing. 

Give them the facts when discussing the news. Give them age-appropriate information. You may find BBC Newsround hub useful. 

Discuss with them that news on social media is not always accurate information. Encourage them to take breaks from following the news. 

Encourage questions

Let them know you are there to answer their questions:

  • give them the confidence to reach out if they have anything to ask
  • be reassuring but honest when answering questions
  • be ready to answer the same question over and over 

Be a role model

Let your children learn from you:

  • recognise and manage your own worries first
  • be open about your own feelings and let them know it is normal to sometimes be concerned about issues
  • talk to them about the importance of healthy food, sleep and exercise
  • set aside some quiet time every day

 

Helpful links

If your child would like to speak with someone confidentially, there are helplines and websites available.

Link Description Contact 
The Listening Lounge Counsellors and peer workers providing support for mental health and wellbeing

01534 866793

 

Brook Helping young people to live healthy lives 01534 507981
Shout Free confidential support via text available 24/7 85258
Children and Families Hub Free confidential Jersey telephone helpline for young people and families 

01534 519000

Email Children and Families Hub

ChildLine Confidential telephone counselling service for children and young people

0800 1111

Online chat with a counsellor 

Check out the message boards

Youth Enquiry Service (YES) Provides young people with free confidential, information, advice and counselling.

0800 7350 010

Email YES

Support services

We all need someone to talk to sometimes and there are people you can call on for support:

Link Description Contact
La Passerelle
Short-stay support team for young people who feel unable to attend their secondary school due to anxiety

+44 (0) 1534 449150


Email La Passerelle

Liberate
Equality and diversity charity

Email Liberate

Jersey Recovery College Education and training to help individuals overcome mental health issues

01534 505977

Email Jersey Recovery College

Jersey Eating Disorder Support Local charity providing support for those affected by eating disorders

07797 778016 

Email Jersey Eating Disorder Support

Family Nursing and Home Care Contact information for parents regarding school nurses, health visitors and more

01534 443600

Email Family Nursing and Home Care

Children's Health Services to support parents with children's health  
Community Bereavement Service Support for those who are dealing with loss

01534 876555

Email Community Bereavement Service

Citizen's Advice Bureau Support and advice about the problems Islanders may have

0800 735 0249

Email Citizen's Advice Bureau

Alcohol and Drugs Service Facts and support about alcohol and drug use 01534 445008

 

Secondary School Based Counselling Team School based counsellor offering support to students  
Mind Jersey A mental health charity

07829 933 929

Email Mind Jersey

PAPYRUS Youth suicide prevention society

0800 068 4141

Email PAPYRUS

Samaritans Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair

116123


Email Samaritans

Be Supported 24/7 helpline to talk about any worries or concerns you may have

0800 072 7072

 

YoungMinds A charity dedicated to children’s mental health

0808 802 5544

 

Cruse Bereavement Care

Support for grief and bereavement

(UK based)

0808 808 1677

 

Domestic violence

If you experience domestic violence there is support available to you:

Link Description Contact
NSPCC Child protection charity

0808 800 5000 for adults or 0800 1111 for children 

Email NSPCC

Jersey Women's Refuge Advice on dealing with domestic violence

0800 735 6836 or 01534 873288

Email Jersey Women's Refuge