Mental health and education - children and teenagers
It’s important to get help early if you think your child's mental health is at risk. Mental health issues can affect a child's education and learning. There are health professionals that can help.
When to get help
If you notice a persistent change in your child’s moods, emotions or behaviour, you need to get help from a health professional.
If you think your child is at risk of harming themselves or others, get help straight away. You can:
- visit your doctor
- contact your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) office
- visit your local hospital or the Women and Children's hospital.
How you can help your child
- talk to your child to try to find out what’s going on
- talk to your child's teacher or student wellbeing leader.
Talking to the school can help because they might have noticed changes in your child's behaviour and moods.
To get help and advice you can:
- call a telephone help line, like Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
- use an online counselling service, like eheadspace
- talk to a doctor, a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or other mental health professional
- call CAMHS Connect on 1300 222 647
- talk to a youth health service.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
CAMHS provide mental health services to infants, children, adolescents and perinatal women.
To find out more contact the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
Phone: 1300 222 647
These services provide confidential advice.
- Parent Helpline SA phone 1300 364 100 for parents of children under the age of 12
- Kids Helpline phone 1800 551 800
- Lifeline phone 1300 659 467
- Alcohol and Drug Information Service phone 1300 131 340 (SA only)
- Women's and Children's Hospital phone 8161 7000
Get information and help online
- Reach Out is an online youth mental health service. There’s also advice for parents.
- Youth Beyond Blue is for young people aged 12 to 25 years.
- Child and Youth Health has mental health information and links for children, teens, young adults and parents and carers.
- Headspace provides early intervention mental health services for 12 to 25 year olds.
- Beyond Blue has information about depression, anxiety, bipolar and more.
- Shine SA has information about sexual health and service contacts.
Support from schools and preschools
If your child has a mental health issue, it’s a good idea to let the school or preschool know.
If your child has a diagnosed mental health condition you can:
- complete a health care plan with the help of the treating medical professional
- give a copy of the plan to the school or preschool - they might need to create a health support agreement. This can help your child’s learning.
Role of schools and preschools
Education staff are not trained health professionals. They cannot diagnose mental health conditions or provide therapy.
Schools and preschools can:
- offer learning opportunities that promote wellbeing and mental health
- support you with referrals
- talk to you about any changes they notice in your child’s behaviour or moods
- develop a health support agreement to support your child’s learning.