Parent Toolkit

Did you know that 50% of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, or that 1 in 5 youth have a diagnosable mental illness? It is critical that parents have tools and resources to help prevent the development of mental illness in youth, and to intervene when a problem arises. Research shows that one of the best mental illness protective factors for youth is having at least one strong, healthy relationship with an adult. Mental health effects everyone, and it is never too early to start talking to your child.

Download the Youth Behavioral Health Resource Guide to find local free and low-cost services for your child.

Download “Filling your child’s emotional backpack?” flyer:
and Spanish

Download “Are you ready for the emotional storm?” flyer:
English and Spanish


Resources in Response to the High School Shooting

In response to the recent high school shooting in Santa Fe Texas, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help families and communities. These resources include tip sheets on:



After The Storm: A Guide to Help Children Cope with the Psychological Effects of a Hurricane

Developed by 7-Dippity, Inc. and Dr. Annette La Greca, Professor of Psychology and Pediatrics at the University of Miami, this special edition of After the Storm was created to better address the needs of children and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The interactive workbook contains information, activities and coping strategies to help parents and caregivers assist children in coping with their reactions and feelings from the hurricane and its aftermath. Accede al libro de trabajo en español aquí.

American Psychological Association – Bullying

Resources on bullying, cyberbullying, and how to stop it.

Child Trauma Resources for Parents and Caregivers

You can play an important role in helping your children and teenagers recover from traumatic events. These pages are designed for birth parents, adoptive parents, resource/foster parents, grandparents, caregivers, and all others who care for children and teens.

CDC Children’s Mental Health

Research, data and information about symptoms and treatment for mental health issues in children.

Child Mind – Guides

A collection of guides that cover a broad range of topics, from the basics on children’s mental health and learning disorders to advice for parents handling common challenges.

Mental Health Channel –“Family Portrait”

The Center is grateful for our partnership with the Mental Health Channel that allows us to share wonderful content. The series “Family Portrait” focuses on families dealing with mental illness and all of the challenges and joy that comes with it.

MHA: What Every Child Needs for Good Mental Health

Tips for caring for your child’s mental health as well as their physical health.

Parents Guide to Getting Good Care

A guide to finding the best professional to treat your child, things to look for to ensure that you’re getting quality care, and questions to ask to evaluate both the clinicians and treatments they offer.

Risk & Protective Factors

A comprehensive list of risk and protective factors for youth mental illness.

Technology and Youth: Protecting your Child from Electronic Aggression

Tips on how to keep your child safe from cyber-bulling and electronic aggression.

Texas Anti-Bullying Laws

A resource for laws in the State of Texas regarding bullying.



Book List

A list of children’s books to help youth develop important social, emotional, and mental wellness skills

Children’s Books for Talking About Trauma

The National Traumatic Stress Network provides many free resources for parents, including a library of books that parents can use to talk to their children about trauma.

Children’s Mental Health Emotional E-book Library

This e-book library donated, by Capstone Interactive, has excellent books for reading to or with children that assist in the development of social emotional skills and initiate conversations around mental well being. These e-books have unlimited access with multiple users.
Site username: mhahouston
Site password: houston

Once I was Very Very Scared

A children’s book written to help children and grown-ups (parents, teachers, and other important adults) understand how stress can affect children and ways to help them. The book is available in Arabic, English, Spanish and Turkish.

The Dana Foundation (Kids)

Learn about the brain, do virtual experiments and read articles about brain developement.



13 Resources for “13 Reasons Why” Conversations

As a parent, you have likely heard your child talk about the popular Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” Even if you haven’t heard of it, chances are your child has watched it. The show depicts the suicide of a teenager girl through tapes she left that outline the various people and events that led to her death. The show addresses important issues that teens face, and it is important that parents discuss these topics with their child. Use this site to find resources that can help guide the conversation.

The Teen Brain: 6 Things to Know

A brief overview of brain development in teens.

Youth Tips for Parents:  How to Talk to Your Teenager About His or Her Mental Health

Suggestions written by teens for talking to your adolescent about mental health.

*Materials were created or identified as resources by the Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston.