ARDROSSAN Academy parents have been given support to talk out mental health issues with their children.

Parents have been engaging with a mental health expert to learn how to approach difficult subjects that can affect their child’s mental health including suicide, and suicidal thoughts.

Issues are being discussed over weekly sessions held at the school, with ten parents able to attend to explore coping mechanisms, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

The meetings have been put together by the school’s counsellor Yann and Family Learning Worker, Elaine Walker to help parents support students.

A drop-in service was set up by the school counsellor which allowed parents to go and voice their concerns.

Elaine hopes that the sessions can help give parents a strategy to deal with difficult conversations.

She said: “We want to give parents a tool kit to deal with different strategies. There are issues like exam stress and suicides.

“There have been some suicides in the local area over recent years and important that everyone can talk about it.”

The first session started last week on Tuesday, March 10 between 5-6.30pm.

It comes after parents were asked what they think would work to help support their child.

Parents were able to reflect on their own experience of mental health, and learn how to be better equipped to deal with any of the issues their child may face.

Elaine said: “Parents aren’t aware that there is a school counsellor and what support services are in place for children in the local community.

“The feedback I’ve had from parents doing the course is that its good for them to reflect on their own experience.

Elaine hopes that parents being equipped to provide support can also help reduce waiting lists for children to be assessed with NHS Child and adolescent mental health services (CAHMS).

She said: “There are a number of children waiting to be seen on CAHMS. It might be that children are better placed somewhere else to receive support through other services in the community, its good for their parents to be aware of this.”