Project Cal-Well, a cross-agency mental health initiative led by the California Department of Education, produced this easy-to-use guide with input from families, educators, mental health professionals, and youth. The guide helps parents and other adult family members and caregivers navigate supporting the overall well-being and mental health of school-aged children, including tips for what can be difficult conversations. It offers information about the social and emotional development of young people and explains warning signs that may signal mental health challenges. It equips caregivers with targeted strategies, tools, and resources that help them advocate for their family, address each child’s specific needs, and access professional help.
Key topics and tips include:
- example conversation starters to help open lines of communication with children and teens;
- enjoyable ways to connect, develop wellness routines, and create well-being practices as a family;
- information addressing mental health myths, including the specific needs and increased challenges facing young people who identify as LGBTQ+;
- information on how to recognize signs that a child is bullying or being bullied;
- tools to create a family media plan that sets boundaries around technology and gives children the skills to be online safely using age-appropriate platforms; and
- tips for partnering with schools to access mental health and family wellness resources and supports.
Share this guide with families in your district! We recommend providing this guide alongside referrals to local resources to support your community. The Family Guide to Supporting Young People’s Mental Health and Well-Being can be shared with this one-page handout containing a QR code for a digital copy of the guide and online resources.
Spanish-language version of the guide coming in early 2024!