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Support for Parents and Carers of Young People in Distress

Published: | Mental Health

A new service to support parents and carers of young people experiencing emotional distress is being piloted in Glasgow until 31 March 2022. 

Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP)’s Compassionate Distress Response Service (CDRS) has been providing support to people aged 18 and over who are in emotional distress, since May 2020.

Operated by Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) for the HSCP, the service expanded to include 16 and 17 year olds in September 2021. An enhanced referral pathway now allows young people, aged 16 to 25 years, to access support by being referred to the CDRS by their GP, teacher or other health, education and social care routes.

Barbara Adzajlic, our HSCP’s Health Improvement Lead for the Young Person's CDRS said: “The CDRS service has seen many young people either attend face-to-face sessions with a parent or carer who themselves need some support or who talk about their distress within a family context and demonstrate the need for family members to receive support for a range of issues.

“In response to this, from January to March 2022 the CDRS is working in partnership with Children 1st Parentline to provide emotional and practical support to parents and carers of young people using the service. With their consent, parents and carers will be guided by CDRS workers towards the specialist support provided by Parentline. Any parent or carer can call Parentline free on 08000 28 22 33 or visit their website.”

Parentline will provide telephone-based or face-to-face support based on the information received from CDRS and on the needs of the parent/carer, which could be:

•    emotional and/or practical support for family members to help them support a child in emotional distress or
•    support for parents and carers for issues that might be contributing to their child’s distress (for example, relationship, financial or mental health issues).

The service will be evaluated internally to identify how parents/carers have been supported, and how this has helped alleviate young people’s distress. 

Rena Ali, CDRS Service Manager at GAMH said: “Since opening the Young People’s service, we have supported over 100 young people by providing a compassionate, listening ear and working with young people to identify strategies to alleviate their distress and build up their resilience. During this time, we have seen that many young people come to see us with a parent or carer who is doing their best to support that young person, and who sometimes needs some support themselves to help them cope with what’s going on for their young person or indeed in their own life. That’s why we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Children 1st Parentline who will be able to provide that holistic support to parents and carers that compliments the work that we are doing with young people.”

Linda Jardine, Director of Children and Family Services at Children 1st said: “At Children 1st we recognise that in order to meet the needs of their children, parents and carers often need support for their own wellbeing. Parentline has been providing a range of emotional and practical support to parents and carers for many years through our national helpline and through relationships with families and partners across Scotland. We’re excited to be working in partnership with CDRS to offer parents and carers the support they need when they need it to make sure their children are safe and well.”

Any parent or carer can call Parentline free on 08000 28 22 33 or visit their website at

Staff or partners can find out more by contacting

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