Children's Hospital Colorado

Mental Health Resources for Parents and Caregivers

You are not alone.

Life is tough right now, and many of us are struggling. There is no shame in asking for help with mental health, for you or your child.

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Supporting your child’s mental health

It’s difficult to find mental health care for kids right now, and many waiting lists are long. But don’t give up. Here you’ll find ways you can help your child, tips for navigating the system, and community resources and organizations that can help you find care or additional support for your child.

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Support kids during the youth mental health crisis

Our kids are living through an unprecedented time and facing unpredictable challenges. Our experts tell you how to help them.

Learn more

How to help your child while you wait

Here's the good news: Parents and caregivers already have the most important tools they need to support children and teens while they wait to see a mental health professional: the ability to be present, listen and empathize. Use these tips to check in and support your child.

"The way to create a safe space for youth to share and for you to provide support is to begin with active listening: really hearing what they say and then repeating it back to them so they know you heard.”
Dr. Jacob Holzman, Child and Adolescent Psychologist

Get back to basics

A healthy, well-rested body supports a healthy mind. An important way to support your child while they wait for mental health care is to ensure that their most basic needs – family time, a good night's sleep, healthful eating and getting enough physical activity – are being met. Our experts have tips for covering these bases.

A teen hugs his mother

Spend quality time together

Our experts agree: When it comes to youth and their mental health, the most important thing parents can do is spend quality time with their children. If your child is struggling, find simple ways to spend more time together, from preparing and enjoying meals to watching movies.

Find ways to create connection

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Get active

For kids, getting "enough" exercise is simpler than you might think. We explain why physical activity is crucial for mental wellness with tips for incorporating family fun.

Discover the power of play

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Support better sleep habits

Sleep affects all aspects of your child's health, especially their mental health. Catching enough ZZZs can help your child concentrate and better regulate their emotions.

Learn about the power of sleep

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Fuel their mental health

Anxiety and stress can trigger poor eating habits, which often make us feel even worse. A nutritious diet provides children with a solid foundation for all aspects of health.

Find foods that support your child's mind

A mom and her teenage son have a heart-to-heart while walking outdoors.

Spend time outdoors, every day

It's simple, but true. Studies show that spending just 20 minutes outside each day can reduce depression and feelings of isolation, decrease stress and anxiety, improve mood and focus, and even lessen the impacts of negative events.

Find 20 ideas to get your kids outside

Explore community resources

A dad embraces his teenage son.

Free counseling sessions

Could your child benefit from talking to a therapist? The I Matter Program from the State of Colorado’s Office of Behavioral Health offers six free virtual counseling sessions to all kids in Colorado.

Seeking help for your child is a sign of strength. To access resources and schedule sessions for your child, start by completing the parent survey.

Get started with I Matter

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Community-based support

Search our Resource Hub for additional community resources for children and families: therapy, support groups, help paying for care, food assistance and much more.

Find resources

More expert advice

Life has been tough, and we can all benefit from increased connection and support. Use these resources to help you check in with your child, reduce stress and keep an eye out for serious symptoms while you wait for care.

How to check in with your teen during the pandemic

Teens from our Mental Health Youth Action Board provide advice on how to help teens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to help your kid stress less

Everyone gets stressed. It’s a part of life. Get advice from our child psychologists on how kids can learn to identify stress and move through it with grace.

Warning signs that your child needs urgent or immediate help

Is this a mental health crisis? Experts in our Pediatric Mental Health Institute explain signs of a mental health crisis in kids and teens with tips for when and how to get help.