This material is also available in a PDF format: Understanding mental health: Resources for families and staff [2MB]

The following resources have been compiled for parents, carers and school staff who may be seeking further information about children and mental health difficulties. A range of resources have been included but the list is not exhaustive. Since materials have been selected to represent differing perspectives, inclusion of a particular item on the list should not be taken as endorsement by KidsMatter.

General information

Department of Health and Ageing
The Department of Health and Ageing provides information on the Australian Government’s policies, projects and publications. There is also information for parents and carers available on the mental health of children.

healthdirect contains links to a wide range of up-to-date and quality assessed information on important health topics including mental health difficulties in children.

Mental Health Council of Australia
The Mental Health Council of Australia is the peak, non-government organisation that provides a range of mental health resources and information.
Mental Health Council of Australia:

Mental Health Information Centre
The Mental Health Information Centre is an Australian website that provides information on common child mental disorders, including overviews of treatments and relevant case studies. While it is written for GPs, it may also be useful for parents, carers and teachers.
Mental Health Information Centre:

Information specifically for parents and carers

Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service
Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service provides information for parents and carers on a large variety of child health and development topics, including material on children’s mental health. See the section on children's mental health.

Choosing what's best for you booklet
The 'Choosing what’s best for you: What scientists have found helps children and young people who are sad, worried or troubled' is a UK based booklet aimed at helping families make informed treatment choices about various mental health issues. By CAMHS (2007). London: Anna Freud Centre.

Choosing what’s best for you: What scientists have found helps children and young people who are sad, worried or troubled:

Information in languages other than English

The multicultural family help kit, published by the NSW Transcultural Mental Health Centre, provides information for families on numerous Mental Health issues and is available in numerous languages.
Multicultural family help kit:

Information and resources for school staff

ResponseAbility provides mental health information to pre-service teachers. However, there is a range of quality information that may be useful for existing teachers’ professional development.

Auseinet is the Australian Network for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health. It provides a concise rationale of supporting the mental health of children in schools and also provides links to key government documents and policies.

Research articles

Sawyer, M. G., Kosky, R. J., Graetz, B., Arney, F., Zubrick, S. R., & Baghurst, P. (2000). The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: The child and adolescent component. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 2, 214 - 220.
This article provides information on the prevalence and severity of mental health issues in Australian children and adolescents.

Zubrick, S. R. Silburn, S. R., Burton, P. & Blair, E. (2000). Mental health disorders in young people: Scope, cause and prevention, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 570 – 578.
This article reviews literature on the characteristics and scope of mental health disorders in young people and discusses mental health prevention and promotion.

Children’s mental health services

State and Territory-based Child, Adolescent and Youth Mental Health Services

These specialist mental health services provide assessment and counselling for children with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties, including disruptive behaviours. They are located across all regions in each state and territory. The following weblinks provide further information and local contacts.