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Children's mental health

feelings; behaviour; sad; angry; afraid; stress; aggression; bullying; depression; ;

Children’s mental health is just as important as their physical health.

While most children cope well with life’s ups and downs, sometimes parents may notice their child’s behaviour is unusual or different from other children the same age. A child may often be distressed or behave differently from how they have in the past. Changes may be gradual or may happen quite suddenly - either way it is a sign that your child needs help and support.

Children’s feelings and behaviour

Children and young people are usually developing well when they enjoy:

  • being with others in the family
  • being with friends and other children of their own age
  • play and leisure activities.

Everyone feels sad, angry, afraid or upset at times, especially when things go wrong for them. Not everyone will respond to the same event in the same way. Some children cope better than others with stress or things that upset or frighten them. Some may want to talk a lot about something that distresses them. Others may keep their feelings more to themselves.

The support and understanding they receive from people around them is extremely important in helping children cope with problems.

Most children show their feelings in the way they act. Their behaviour will tell you how they feel so it’s important to try and understand what the behaviour means.

If you notice your child being sad or angry much of the time, or there are significant changes in how they behave, it is important to get help.

More about children's mental health

There is also another Parent Easy Guide  Young people, feelings and depression about the mental health of teenagers.

 Contacts in South Australia

  • Parent Helpline: Tel 1300 364 100
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week for advice on child health and parenting
  • Child and Family Health Centres: Tel 1300 733 606
    9am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday to make an appointment at your local Centre
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Information in languages other than English

NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre    

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).

This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.

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