Support for parents and carers

Children and young people’s mental health

If your child, or a young person you care for, is experiencing mental health problems, it can be hard to know what to do and how you can best help them. We know it can be a difficult time and upsetting to see your child struggle while you wait for appropriate professional help.

Dr Joshua Harwood, Child Clinical Psychologist, has written a series of five articles for AXA Health on some of the most common mental health conditions, aimed to support parents and carers with a child waiting for support. He shares practical recommendations and tips for parents to identify potential red-flags and help their children understand and cope with their feelings. We’ve also created some short videos, with condensed tips and information from Dr Harwood.

The content isn’t designed to replace professional help – if you are worried about a child or young person’s mental health, please seek an immediate appointment with your GP.


It can be upsetting to see your child struggling with anxiety, and you may be unsure of the best way to support them. There are, however, many useful tips and tools available that you can use to help your child with managing their anxiety.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Many children have rituals and routines as part of their everyday life. However, when rituals begin to interfere with school or home life, or start to cause distress it may be a sign of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).


Although it’s more commonly thought of as a difficulty that affects adults, children can experience depression too.

The symptoms, however, tend to be slightly different in children, making it more difficult to spot.

Self harm

Some young people self-harm as a way to let adults know how bad things are, or to make their body show their emotional pain. Self-harm can be addictive and involve rituals that can be a difficult pattern of behaviour to change.

Eating disorders

The relationship children and teenagers have with food often changes and fluctuates over time.

If you’re worried that your child may be struggling with an eating disorder, it’s important to seek professional support as early as possible, even if you’re unsure.

Support for you, when you need it

medical app icon

Ask the expert

Ask our team of experts about any health topic via email – available to both AXA Health members and non-members.
Find out more

Care icon

24/7 health support line

Call any time of the day or night to get help and support for you and your loved ones – available to AXA Health members.
Find out more

devices icon

Online GP service

The fast, easy way to speak to a GP by video or by phone – available to AXA Health members.
Find out more