Skip to main content

Mental health advice for parents

Explore this article's topics:

Wellbeing & Mental Health Wellbeing for parents

We all have mental health – and it’s just as important to take care of it as it is to look after our physical health. If our mental health is good it means we can think, feel and react in the ways we need to in order to cope with day to day life. But sometimes we think, feel and react in ways that make it hard to cope. Everyone feels stressed, anxious, emotional or overwhelmed at times, but it’s important to make sure that ‘at times’ doesn’t become ‘all the time’. Here are some tips for looking after your mental health and getting support – because there’s lots of help out there, so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to access it.

Tips to look after your mental health

Dealing with negative thoughts

The way we think affects the way we feel, so negative thoughts can make us feel bad. No one wants to think negative thoughts. The trouble is, they tend to pop into our heads of their own accord! Sometimes, you can acknowledge the thought and then dismiss it. But sometimes, worrying thoughts get stuck. Here are some tips for getting rid of them:

Tips for dealing with negative thoughts

Dealing with anxiety or panic

It’s normal to feel anxious or panicky from time to time, particularly in the face of threat or danger. But if these feelings stay with you when the threat has passed and are getting in the way of your everyday life, there are lots of things you can do that will help. For hints and tips, visit NHS Inform’s Mind to Mind website.

Coping with stress

As a parent, there are lots of demands on you, and it’s easy to start feeling stressed and worn down. But there are things you can do to help. This article from Tiny Happy People has some good suggestions to help you feel less overwhelmed.

Worrying about money

Most people worry about money at some point in their lives – and at the moment more of us are worrying about money than ever. But if you feel that your financial situation is making you feel anxious and stressed all the time, and that this is affecting how you go about your day to day life, it’s a good idea to get some help. This could be:

  • help to sort out your finances – for example, you could contact the Money Talk Team for advice. Our pages on help with benefits, grants and support have lots more advice that can help you.
  • talking to someone about how you feel – this could be your GP, or a support agency like Breathing Space (see ‘Finding support’ below).

The main thing to remember is that you’re not alone, and that there is support out there.

Finding support

It’s important to remember that there’s lots of support out there, starting with your GP. NHS Inform has resources to help you keep on top of your mental health, including their anxiety self-help guide.  You can also find useful information on the SAMH website. SAMH also have a useful leaflet about mental health that you can download here.

If you want to talk to someone anonymously, you can also call Breathing Space, Scotland’s national helpline for those experiencing depression or anxiety on 0800 83 85 87. Alternately you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 at any time to talk to them about how you're feeling.

Coping with parenting

Being a parent is the best job in the world, but it can also be one of the most stressful. There will be days when it all feels a little too much. To help you manage the challenges ahead, Parent Club has some tips on coping with being a parent and keeping calm with your wee one so you can build a rewarding relationship together. 

Illustration of a parent getting frustrated

Illustration of a parent getting frustrated

Free courses on wellbeing and mental health

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.

Last updated: 28 Sep, 2023