Published: 15 Nov 2022  |  Category: Mental Health  |  Stage: We have welcomed a family

Understanding children and young peoples mental health

Resources to help you understand mental health problems in children and young people and available support options.

The children within the family that you will sponsor may have experienced distressing or traumatic events. Adapting to a new country, including a new culture, language and school, can be challenging. Understandably, some children may need support with their mental health. Support services may be available through local charities, the child’s school or the NHS.

As a Community Sponsorship group, your role is never to diagnose or treat mental health problems, but to support the parents to help their children access professional mental health support, if they express the need.

The following resources may help you to broaden your understanding of children’s mental health and have the knowledge to support the family with accessing mental health support services. 

“Mental health is about how we think, feel and act. Just like physical health: everybody has it and we need to take care of it. Our mental health is on a spectrum, and can range from good to poor.

Good mental health can help you to think positively, feel confident and act calmly.

If you have poor mental health, you might find that the way you’re thinking, feeling or acting becomes difficult to cope with. You might not enjoy things you used to like doing. You might feel sad or angry for a longer time than usual. Or you might feel like you can’t control how you feel or behave”. (Mind UK)

Signs of mental health problems / trauma may include

  • Persistent low mood or lack of motivation
  • Experiencing low self esteem or feeling worthless
  • Feeling tearful or upset regularly
  • Feeling nervous or on edge often
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increased irritability / tempers
  • Struggling to concentrate
  • Regressive behaviour
  • Experiencing hyperarousal or numbness.

Resources to be aware of

Traumatic bereavement

“Traumatically bereaved children and young people experience significant distress and difficulties, over and above a more typical grief. Traumatic bereavement can be easily missed or misunderstood by parents, teachers and even bereavement practitioners, meaning that children’s difficulties are not recognised” (UK Trauma Council).

To understand traumatic bereavement in children please watch the following video by the UK Trauma Council:


Youngminds - Parents feedback on supporting refugee children [260.8KB] Download .PDF

Helpful resources for young peoples mental health [691.1KB] Download .PDF

Traumatic Bereavement Schools Guide - UKTC [5.7MB] Download .PDF

Becoming a trauma sensitive school [3MB] Download .PDF