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Raising a teen is a tricky business. But you don’t have to do it alone. Seeing your child struggling can be upsetting, even scary. But there are lots of organisations and services to help parents of teenagers, as well as teens themselves.

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Talk to their school or your GP

Speak to their school if you have concerns or are looking for support. Your teen’s school will be happy to help. If you have worries about their health and wellbeing, it’s important to let the school know as early as possible. This lets them work with you to put any support they can offer in place.

Your GP will also be able to help you and your teen think about support that might be helpful.

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Further support for teens

  • The Breathing Space helpline is available to help teenagers who may be experiencing low moods and depression.
  • More information about mental health problems and disorders can be found on NHS Inform.
  • Teens can also phone Childline for free confidential advice and support.
  • Shout provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • The Mix offers support to young people by phone, email and webchat.
  • Young Scot's Aye Feel hub has lots of information for young people on how to look after their emotional wellbeing, including ideas from other teens, as well as support from organisations around Scotland and tips on how to promote a positive mindset.
  • SAMH have some useful resources to help young people with how they're feeling.
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Support for parents of teens

  • Parentline Scotland provides free advice and support on all aspects of parenting.
  • The Relationship Helpline provides a free service for anyone over 16 who has relationship issues or needs to talk about family life.
  • YoungMinds have a friendly, confidential parents' helpline and webchat service offering information, advice and signposting.
  • If you have twins, triplets or more, the Twins Trust offers support and advice, including a helpline, online communities and courses.
  • The Solihull Approach Online courses cover a range of topics and ages from pregnancy to 19+ years. There are also courses for teenagers themselves, and one about adult relationships. These courses are for everyone, for everyday parenting. They don’t tell you how to parent, that’s up to you. Instead they offer a way to understand what might be going on and space to think about how you want to respond. You can find out more on the Solihull website and access the courses for free using the code TARTAN.
  • MindEd has advice and information to help you to understand your teen’s mental health, what you can do to best support your family, and how to take care of yourself.
  • HappyMaps has mental health resources for parents and carers, and for young people and children, all in one place.
  • The Anna Freud Centre also offers resources to help parents support their teen’s mental health.
  • Parenting Mental Health has an online forum which provides a safe, non-judgemental space to share the experience of parenting a child with a mental health issue.
  • NHS Scotland and SilverCloud are offering free courses to help you boost your wellbeing and mental health, and support your children too. There are programs on sleep, stress, resilience, body image and money worries, as well as programs to help you support an anxious child or teen. You can find out more about the courses available here and sign up for free using the code Scotland2020.
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Help and support if your child is disabled

If your teen is disabled, there may be additional pressures as they become more independent. But there are lots of organisations offering help and support. 

  • Disability Information Scotland provides reliable, accurate and accessible information for people living with disability in Scotland through their helpline and website.
  • Contact offers advice and information for families with disabled children.
  • Mencap offers advice and support for people with learning disabilities and their families and carers. They have a helpline and an online forum where you can ask questions about learning disability, share experiences and offer support.
  • Scottish Autism provides information, advice, and a range of support services across Scotland for autistic individuals and their families. 
  • Our page on talking to your child about neurodiversity has information on how to spot the signs that your child’s brain may work in a different way and how you can talk to them about this and get any support they may need to help them flourish.
  • Children have a legal right to get additional support at school if it’s needed. You can also get more information about additional support needs, and confidential advice on your rights and entitlements, through Enquire
  • The Family Fund website has lots of information for families and carers of disabled children, including where to get further support. They also offer grants for eligible families.
  • To find out more information or to access support for your child’s rights in relation to health, Children’s Heath Scotland offers advice and help.

You can find further links to support in our Family Support Directory

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Looking after yourself

Being the parent of a teenager can be hard work! To be there for them, you need to be in a good place yourself. We have some tips on looking after your mental health and ways to help you cope and relax. It’s not selfish to look after yourself. And the happier you are the better support you can be for your teen.

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