Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Mental Health - Kids: Home

Resources to support you and your child's health and well-being.

Guidelines for Parents and Caregivers

​​Mental health is an important part of overall health for children as well as adults. For many adults who have mental disorders, symptoms were present—but often not recognized or addressed—in childhood and adolescence. For a young person with symptoms of a mental disorder, the earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be. Early treatment can help prevent more severe, lasting problems as a child grows up.


  • Pay close attention to your child's and your own feelings of stress or anxiety. Practice continued self-care strategies, including eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and finding time to take breaks. If you find yourself overwhelmed by negative thoughts, find ways to reframe your thinking. If you find yourself overwhelmed by negative thoughts, find ways to reframe your thinking.  Seek out needed mental health support for yourself or loved ones.
  • Acknowledge and support children in processing their full range of emotions and concerns, while offering calm and reassurance. Consider how children will react at different ages and identify appropriate ways to respond. Find ways for children to express their feelings through conversation, music, art, dance, writing, or other activities. Tune into how they’re feeling throughout the day, and offer quiet time or breaks as needed.
  • Provide age-appropriate information and accurate answers about the news while limiting excessive television or social media. 
  • Whenever possible, provide consistency in daily routines including meals and bedtimes. While school closures or changes in schedules may be inevitable, consistent routines can help foster a sense of safety.
  • Practice patience when routines are necessarily disrupted, which can lead to potential behavior issues or meltdowns. Try to comfort children while setting boundaries. 
  • Help children and adolescents think of creative ways to maintain their friendships and social connections. This may include writing emails or letters to friends, or scheduling time to use the phone or age-appropriate technology to communicate with peers. Remember that your own social connections are important as well, and make time to reach out by phone or virtually to family and friends.
  • Proactively reach out to schools and community organizations to support you in meeting any additional needs your family may have, such as access to meals or support services.

Why Parents Should Talk to Kids about Mental Health Early and Often

Gizmo 4 Mental Health

Gizmo is one of our reading buddies that visits the Hartford Public Library. 

Click on his books below to read him talk about the importance of mental health.

(click image above to read in English)

(haga clic en la imagen de arriba para leer en Español)

 

Well-being