NHS EnglandA new toolkit that aims to help professionals include parents and carers in every aspect of the delivery of young people’s mental health services – from what happens in the treatment room to how the service is designed – has been launched.

The Parents Say toolkit has been created by NHS England and mental health charity YoungMinds in consultation with more than 900 parents as part of the Future in Mind implementation plan. It consists of a series of online modules, downloadable guides for commissioners and parents as well as 14 case studies to help clinicians understand the experiences of families.

It also includes a set of 5 short films where families talk about the need to be better informed about their child’s treatment, to be able to give their views and to get simpler explanations of the care their child will receive. 

The toolkit and films are based on 5 key themes as identified by the YoungMinds parent champions: 

Workforce development 

Leadership and service development 

Equality and diversity  


Methods of engagement. 

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds said: “Parents and carers desperately want more opportunities for involvement when their child is using mental health services so they can play a vital role in supporting their children when they are suffering. However, many parents and carers have told us they feel excluded and isolated from the treatment process, and often feel blamed for their children’s mental health problems.

“Our toolkit offers a wealth of practical resources to improve the relationship between services and parents, so that many more children and families get the right treatment and support they so desperately need.”