Headspace extends help to parents concerned about kids

MOTHERS are a key factor for young men to seek help for their mental health problems.

National youth organisation headspace extended its phone line to support mums and dads who are concerned about their kids.

The extended service follows research by the organisation that found families play a big role in adolescents addressing psychiatric concerns.

Headspace CEO Chris Tanti said the survey of about 31,000 young Aussies found family was a key influence for 12 to 15-year-olds and a significantly stronger influence for young men across all age groups when seeking help, compared to women

"Parents are key in driving young people to get the right support at the right time, particularly mothers of young men, but they often don't know how or when to approach it," Mr Tanti said.

"Parents might notice changes in their child's behaviour over a period of time. For example, they might withdraw from the family, stop doing things they usually enjoy or become constantly irritable."

"However what we consistently hear from parents is that it can be difficult to know whether to put this behaviour down to regular teenage moodiness or an emerging mental health problem that needs to be addressed."

Meanwhile, headspace.org.au has been updated with tools and resources to help support parents who are concerned about their child.

This includes videos to help parents identify warning signs and have tricky conversations.

The phone line (1800 650 890) is available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and is staffed by qualified youth mental health professionals.