Mental Health advice & parental support

Selfcare activities for children from Anna Freud- National Centre for Children & Families

The Anna Freud website has resources for parents and carers as well as children






Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

ASD Training Team

The Liverpool ASD Training Team are providing a series of virtual drop in advisory sessions via zoom.  They are for parent/carers wishing to talk in a private one to one setting about any questions or concerns they may have about their child. You do not require a diagnosis of ASD to book your place.

Please contact school for the latest dates.

SEND support from LiVPaC

Please find below a link to some useful SEND Resources from LiVPaC (Liverpool Parents and Carers Forum). LivPaC is a group of parents and carers of children and young people with special education needs and/or disabilities (SEND) who work with education, health and care services to ensure the services they plan and deliver are fit for purpose and meet the needs of children, young people and their families across Liverpool.

The blog covers the following areas;

·       Parent Blogs

·       Send Resources and Support

·       FOCUS: Bereavement resources

·       FOCUS: Early Years / SEND resources

·       FOCUS: Liverpool SEND Support Groups

·       FOCUS: Mental Health support

·       FOCUS: Preparing for Adult Life

·       FOCUS: Supporting families during Covid-19

·       FOCUS: Supporting children through Covid-19

·       FOCUS: Transition back to school

·       “SEND Toolkit” (an introduction to supporting children with additional needs in the classroom):

·       Supporting Students with Autism

·       Support

·       Partner Websites

·       Website and activity ideas

·       Other Useful Resources

The link for the page is



In response to the current coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool Local Authority’s SEND Support Services would like to offer advice and support to our settings and families during this difficult time.

If you have specific concerns these contact details may be useful.

The Helpline for Settings & Families document can be downloaded here.




We wanted to let you know about a great resource that is being offered for free and developed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Picturepath is an online timeline tool developed by a team of specialists based at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital that helps children with Autism and other educational needs to manage their daily routines without getting stressed (more info on website link below). They have had great feedback from SENCo’s, parents and SEND children who’ve been using Picturepath to help them adapt to home learning during the Covid-19 lockdown. Because of this they’re wanting to support more schools and families with SEND children by offering Picturepath for free at this time.

Links to the parents app are below:

Apple App Store –

Google Play Store –

For further information please contact Richard Nurse



Mental health support- Support for parents

CAMHS has published a number of advice sheets for parents of children who are experiencing specific difficulties.

The CAMHS parent advice pdf can be downloaded here.


Change and loss activities

A set of simple, practical activities from Partnership for Children, for parents to help their children explore their emotions during times of change and loss. Parents and carers may want to refer to the guidance when using these resources. The activities and resources on Mentally Healthy Schools are intended to support children to develop life skills and coping strategies, and are not intended to be a replacement for therapeutic support. They may not be suitable for all children, so your discretion is advised.

Change and loss activities for children & parents


Mindfulness & wellbeing

This A to Z of wellbeing from ‘That wellbeing guy’ has some lovely ideas for all ages.

You can download the A-Z of Wellbeing here.









During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to look after your child’s well-being. To help parents to help their children, Outside the Box has produced a FREE activity journal (At Home with Weaving Well-Being) to help children to enhance their mental well-being through a range of activities. Although it is probably most suitable for children aged 8 to 12 tears old it can be adapted for younger or older children. It was released as a response to the current crisis.

You can download it and print it out for your child or, if you don’t have access to a printer, your child can get the activity idea from the screen and do it on a blank sheet of paper.
Most of the topics in the journal, such as positivity, gratitude, kindness, bravery, creativity and self-kindness, are drawn from the field of Positive Psychology, which is the science of well-being. There are also activities based on dealing with worries and coping with change.

The journal aims to give children a chance to reflect and express themselves, gradually building into a highly personal portfolio reflecting unique aspects of their mental well-being. Once complete, they may enjoy looking over it again from time to time, especially whenever they need a well-being boost!

As a parent, you can use this journal to open up an important channel of communication with your child. Take time to discuss the various activities while they are completing them and perhaps even join in and try some of them on yourself!



This document provides a brief overview of mindfulness and how it can help
during unsettling times. It explains the neuroscience behind mindfulness and the
psychology underpinning it. Parents should read through the information so they feel familiar with the content before using it with their child. Mindfulness is normally taught in small group settings.

Mindfulness for unsettling times can be downloaded here.


Helplines for urgent advice and support

There are also a number of free bite-size courses being provided online by Merseyside Youth Association and Liverpool CAMHS. These are available to parents and teachers. Topics include adolescent brain development, eating disorders, self-harm, social media and mental health, resilience, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) & trauma, managing a child’s worry, attachment and more.To find out more and to see all available training please click on the link:

Support for Year 6 upwards

One of the additional services to support Year 6 children, or children aged 10+, that has been provided as part of the CAMHS offer is Kooth. This is an online counselling service that has proven very popular with secondary school children, and could help to support children as they transition from primary to secondary school – particularly given the current situation. Although this service is aimed at children older than our pupils it may be of use to some families with older children.

CV19 Discover Kooth

CV19 Worried about going back to school


Support for adults


NHS help for adults feeling overwhelmed

NHS help for adults who need someone to talk to

If you or someone you know needs urgent advice or support at this time these organisations may help

Download  a list of helplines by clicking on this link.

Mental health at home-building resilience

These calendars have been published by and can be downloaded in a variety of languages from their website.

They contain ideas for daily actions to help you be more resilient in challenging times.


We have added further resources from Mentally Healthy Schools to go alongside our others on resilience.

Resilience resources- resilience game

Resilience resources- resilience ladder

Over the last two years many of us have experienced extra pressures that have affected how we think and feel. It’s important to recognise that all of us have mental health and, just like our physical health, at this time it’s important to look after it.

The anti-baddies resilience toolkit lovely resource pack that has been designed to help children develop resilience by completing small tasks to earn badges. The activities and tasks have a focus on wellbeing. The Anti-Baddies – Resilience Toolkit can be downloaded here.



Primary Schools’ Wellbeing Booklet

On page 5 of this booklet there is a checklist of little activities to complete.

Primary Schools’ Wellbeing Booklet





Liverpool CAMHS (Childhood and Adolescent Mental Health Services) has also provided advice to help parents and carers at this time. Liverpool CAMHS promotes the mental health, emotional wellbeing of all children, young people and their families.

The website can  be found by clicking on this link.



The Young Minds website also provides a range of support strategies for young people. They have also created a dedicated page for parents and carers.

The Mental Health Foundation produced guidance about talking to children about scary world news. Although it was written in 2018 it is relevant to the current situation.  The document can be downloaded by clicking on this link.

What anxiety is

Anxiety is a normal day-to-day feeling, just like hunger, excitement, tiredness etc. It’s part of how we rationalise things and make decisions like whether it’s safe to cross the road or not – we don’t want to step out in front of a car! However, when we’re under increased stress, as we are now, our bodies can mis-interpret this stress as danger, triggering an overwhelming anxious response. This is known as the fight or flight response and it provides the body with a burst of energy – adrenaline – so that it can respond to the perceived danger.
When the fight or flight response is activated, you’re likely to have lots of symptoms; some of these might include your heart pounding, feeling nauseous, butterflies in your stomach, clammy hands, tense muscles, feeling dizzy, shallow breathing, racing thoughts, feelings of overwhelm, being out of control or angry. These responses were useful when we needed to run away from a sabre-toothed tiger, but they’re less helpful when we want to get around busy supermarkets looking for toilet paper!

How to manage anxiety

1. BREATHE! This might sound too simple to be true, but by slowing our breathing down, we activate another system in our body which acts as a brake, letting our body know the ‘danger’ has passed, thereby soothing the fight or flight response. It’s worth practising deep breathing when you’re not feeling anxious, so it becomes an automatic response when you do start to feel anxious. Here’s a simple guide on how to do this:
2. Pay attention to your thoughts: unhelpful thinking patterns such as catastrophising and ruminating keep us stuck in an anxious place. If you notice you’re caught up in this type of thinking, ground yourself by placing your feet firmly on the floor and really notice how that feels. Look around you and name five things you can see. The idea is to bring your attention into the present moment, rather than being lost in your thoughts.
3. Basic self-care: get at least 6 hours sleep a night, eat well, don’t go overboard with alcohol. Get some exercise. If you can’t get outside, there are some on-line exercise sessions popping up on the internet. If you can get outside, do; even standing outside your front door and noticing the clouds, the breeze etc can be very soothing.
4. Routine/structure: we all benefit psychologically from having some routine and structure to our days, so think about ways you can put some in place at home. Take it one day at a time and be open to changing things when you need to. Limit the time you spend taking in information about Coronavirus.
5. Connection: we’re wired to connect with other people, so self-isolation and distancing are challenging for us. However, as well as the traditional telephone, we have many on-line platforms to enable us to connect with each other. Make it a priority to keep in touch with others, and maybe even get back in touch with people you’ve lost contact with.
6. Kindness: give yourself a break and be as kind to yourself as you possibly can. Would you speak to your best friend the way you speak to yourself? Probably not! The bottom line is that we’re all mammals trying to get by in life and we all deserve to feel loved and supported.