Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Supporting a Child Who Has a Mental Health Condition

Supporting a Child Who Has a Mental Health Condition

Getting Started

A mental health condition can make it harder for your child to manage their feelings and behaviors. They may struggle with things like doing schoolwork, making friends, or getting along with their siblings. This can be very stressful for your child and for you. But there are some things you can do to help.

  • Find a counselor for your child.

    Look for a counselor that your child feels safe with and trusts. You can ask your child's doctor for a referral.

  • Learn about the condition.

    Your child's doctor or counselor may be able to recommend books, podcasts, and websites. You could find out about:

    • Symptoms of the condition.
    • Your child's treatment options and the types of mental health professionals that can help.
    • Mental health laws. For example, parents usually have the right to look at their child's medical records.
  • Advocate for your child.

    Your child's counselor will likely want to help. This can include:

    • Telling your child's teacher about the condition and asking how the school can help.
    • Communicating often with your child's teacher.
    • Asking for help from supportive family and friends.
  • Be thoughtful about how you engage with your child.

    Here are some things you can do:

    • Try to respond calmly when your child is upset. If you're feeling emotional, it's okay to take time to yourself.
    • Listen closely when your child shares their feelings.
    • Be understanding of the challenges that your child faces because of the condition.
    • Emphasize that the condition is an illness and not your child's fault.
    • Avoid focusing too much on the condition. Instead, focus on what you love and enjoy about your child.
  • Teach your child ways to manage the condition.

    Encourage good self-care like getting enough sleep, eating a variety of healthy foods, and being active. Work on healthy ways to manage feelings, like deep breathing, playing with a pet, or doing a hobby. Try to set an example by practicing these things yourself. To learn more, work with your child's counselor or take parenting classes.

  • Take care of yourself.

    Find a counselor for yourself if you need support. You can ask your doctor or your child's counselor for a referral. Make time for yourself. And do things that you enjoy, such as a favorite activity or spending time with a close friend.

  • Find community resources.

    Examples include support groups, treatment centers, and local crisis hotlines. To find resources:

    • Talk to your child's doctor or counselor, or check with your health insurance.
    • Ask a family member or friend who has a child with a mental health condition.

Where to get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If your child talks about suicide, self-harm, a mental health crisis, a substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress, get help right away. You can:

  • Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
  • Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
  • Text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line.

Consider saving these numbers in your phone.

Go to for more information or to chat online.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Taking Care of Yourself When You Have a Child With Physical, Emotional, or Behavioral Problems

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details