Mental health toolkit for practitioners working with families

Mental health toolkit from the Troubled Families Programme

The set of tools and resources below are being shared by DHSC, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and MHCLG to local partners working with children, families and communities.

(Information about the Brighter Futures for Children Mental Health Support Team, and online resources such as Kooth, can be found here).

Staying mentally well this winter

The Department for Health and Social Care has published a wellbeing and mental health support plan ‘Staying mentally well this winter’. This sets out the support that will be in place in the immediate term to help people’s wellbeing and mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan can be viewed here, and includes links to useful resources, some of which are set out below.

NHS Guidance on children and young people’s mental health

In January 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement published new guidance on children and young people’s mental health from Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan, Associate National Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Mental Health. This include advice for parents and carers, information on how to access services, and self-care recommendations for young people.

NHS urgent mental health helplines

New 24/7 all ages NHS urgent mental health helplines have been rolled out across the country in 2020. They provide expert advice and assessment for children and adults facing a mental health crisis. People can call for themselves, or on behalf of someone else. We encourage the promotion of these helplines, and have developed public facing lines: If you need help for a mental health crisis, find your local 24/7 urgent mental health helpline at You can call for:

  • 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for;
  • help to speak to a mental health professional;
  • an assessment to help decide on the best course of treatment.

If your child needs urgent mental health support or advice, you can contact your local mental health helpline via You can call the helpline for 24-hour advice and support for you and your child, to speak to a mental health professional or for an assessment to help decide on the best course of care.

Covid-19: Psychological First Aid

Psychological First Aid is the globally recommended training for supporting people during emergencies and offers guidance on delivering psychosocial care in the immediate aftermath of an emergency event. On this free 3-session online training course, you’ll explore the psychological impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and what you can do to help people cope, including looking after yourself and colleagues. This Public Health England course is aimed at frontline or essential workers and volunteers dealing with the public during the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information and to sign up, click this link.

Zero Suicide Alliance training

The Zero Suicide Alliance provide a range of awareness training options, which provide a better understanding of the signs to look out for and the skills required to approach someone who is struggling, whether that be through social isolation or suicidal thoughts. These short training modules are free to access through this link, with further resources signposted here.

Every Mind Matters campaign

The Every Mind Matters campaign provides resources to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. These include a quick quiz that sets you up with a free plan with tips to help you deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control. This can be found here, alongside expert advice and more practical tips. Every Mind Matters also provides advice on children and young people’s mental health, including self-care resources and information for parents and carers.

MindEd for Families

MindEd is a free learning resource about the mental health of children, young people and older adults. Providing advice and information from trusted experts, MindEd for Families will help you to understand what problems occur, what you can do to best support families, and how to take care of yourself. It has a huge range of free e-learning applicable across the health, social care, education, criminal justice and community settings, available here.

NHS apps library

To find a range of apps and online tools to help you manage your health and wellbeing, you can visit the NHS apps library, where you can filter by category to find apps that suit your needs.