How to Cope When Your Child Can’t: How parents can help themselves and each other – recording

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

Posted on

Parenting and caring for a child who is struggling to cope can be painful and stressful, and can make it very hard to enjoy life yourself. Feelings of blame, guilt, sorrow, despair, fear, and frustration may be swirling around alongside a desperate desire to cure their pain.

Although parenting a child who is experiencing difficulties is a common problem, we can feel desperately alone when it is happening to us. When someone we love is struggling – for whatever reason – we may become unhappy too. For countless parents and children there are problems with no easy solutions.

This free session used the latest evidence-based research, and examples from parents, to help us understand what we can and cannot do; to help us to accept any distress, worry, anxiety, sadness or loss of control in our situations; to see that we can tolerate these things; and to know that there are ways to move forward.


About the session

We were delighted to welcome a top class panel of speakers to give evidence based advice and a lived experience perspective to parents, teachers, and clinicians. We are joined by Ursula Saunders, Dr. Alice Welham, Professor Roz Shafran authors of new book How to Cope When Your Child Can’t. Also, we have the Charlie Waller Trust who are developing parent peer support as a crucial part of their work in addressing the mental health of children and young people. Offering evidence -based training and resources and using co-production with parents with lived experience, CWT’s community includes renowned authorities on adolescent psychology, childhood anxiety and depression.

About the speakers

Professor Roz Shafran
Professor Roz Shafran

I’m an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with an honorary contract at Great Ormond Street Hospital and I work in the psychological medicine team, and I’m also a Professor of Translational Psychology at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. My main area of work is the translation of research findings into clinical practice.

Dr. Alice Welham
Dr. Alice Welham

I am a clinical psychologist and a lecturer at the University of Leicester. I have a broad range of interests in psychology and its clinical applications, with a special interest in working with children and adults with complex needs, including autism and genetic syndromes which affect psychological development.

Ursula Saunders
Ursula Saunders

When my 11-year-old refused to go to school, I found there was little out there to help parents in crisis. He was scared and anxious and my husband and I were trying to do everything in our power to help him, but didn’t know what to do. I hope my experiences can help other cope through difficult times like this. I am a fundraiser in the not-for-profit sector.

Wendy Minhinnett
Wendy Minhinnett

Wendy is a parent who has supported her daughter with mental health issues. This experience led to Wendy being involved in a variety of initiatives locally and nationally to promote the role parents can play in improving children and young people’s mental health (CYPMH).

Wendy is a co-founder of Rollercoaster Parent Support Project which is ran in partnership with Tees, Esk and Wear Valley Trust (TEWV). Wendy is the Parent Lead for the Charlie Waller Trust and coordinates the PLACE CYPMH National Network of parent-carer support groups. She has also worked with NHS England (North) to promote children, young people and family engagement in Mental Health in Schools Teams. Wendy is a Parent Co-author for MindEd for Families, has worked with the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and NHS England National Policy and Participation teams, on a variety of CYPMH focused workstreams. Wendy is currently a Patient and Public Voice member on the National Taskforce Delivery Group for Children and Young Peoples’ Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Inpatient Services.

Wendy has a passion and drive both professionally and personally to improve CYPMH by working with parents and families. Wendy believes with the right support, information, and guidance that families can and do make a difference to a child or young person’s mental health.

Kathryn Pugh MBE
Kathryn Pugh MBE

Kathryn has over 20 years’ senior leadership experience in health, third sector, and commercial sector, and has worked as a national leader in children and young people’s mental health services.

This year she has moved into consultancy, advising voluntary, community social enterprise and public sector organisations. Previously she held a national role at NHS England, working to create and implement cross-government strategies for improving outcomes for children’s mental health, including the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme, Future in Mind, Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper and the NHS Long Term Plan.

Before moving to NHS England, she commissioned mental health, specialist, and acute services, led the policy team at YoungMinds and worked nationally and regionally focusing on integration and whole system development.


Thank you so much for your helpful session on ‘How to Cope When Your Child Can’t’ the session was very informative and helpful.

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