Children with additional needs are more than four times as likely to develop a diagnosable psychiatric disorder than those who do not have additional needs. Many parent carers who come to Unique Ways worry about their child’s emotional wellbeing, and whether they can provide the support they need.

Our Parenting for Health and Emotional Wellbeing (PHEW) course for parents and carers of 11 to 18-year-olds with additional needs focuses on building a parenting relationship with teens that supports their mental health needs.

We encourage parents to see the PHEW course as just one step in their journey as parents of teens with additional needs. We don’t have all the answers about what’s best for your child – after all, you’re the one who knows them best.

One of the most important things the course encourages is realism. We want to be realistic about what we are able to be as parents.  It’s not about being your child’s therapist, or gaining a professional qualification as a practitioner.

Instead, the aim of the course is to share tools, ideas and insight that will help you to recognise and improve the mental health and wellbeing of your teen.

It is then up to you how to best use this information to support your child, and if you believe that your teenager needs further professional support then we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

Course content

The course is divided into a number of sessions and exercises, including:

  • Hopes and fears – What concerns do you have about your child’s wellbeing? What are you hoping to learn from the course?
  • Triggers and early warning signs – Considering what to look for as early warning signs of mental health issues. What red flags should parents be aware of, and when should they seek help?
  • Communication and relationships – What makes a teenager’s relationship with their parents a key factor in their mental health and emotional wellbeing? How do teenagers communicate, both verbally and nonverbally?
  • Tools – What tools can you use when working with teens to improve their emotional wellbeing? This can be tailored to dealing with bereavement issues, self-harm and other risky behaviours.
  • Self-care – How do you take care of yourself, and your own needs, as a parent?


Courses are run over one full-day session or two separate morning sessions.

For more information, contact us on 01422 343090, or email [email protected].

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