Worried about someone’s mental health?
- because the people closest to them might not see it
- because they might not have the courage to ask for help
- because being mistaken is better than being too late
Speak to them…
- because it opens the door for them to speak to you
- because they might not know that support is available
- because a chat might be all they need to feel better
Keep checking on them…
- because their behaviour might not match their words
- because a bad day could become something bigger
- because seeing someone make progress is a great feeling
Worried about a child or young person? ASK can help you start that first conversation.
ASK aims to support all adults who interact with children and young people – whether in the workplace, in the community* or as a parent/carer – to check in on their wellbeing. If you’re concerned about someone’s mental health, happiness or just want to check in, ASK can help you strike up a conversation and raise awareness of the information you need to provide the right support.
On this homepage you can explore our library of resources and materials on a range of topics to help you support a young person’s mental health and wellbeing. You can also download an ASK awareness poster and social media assets.
“This was an important project for me because as someone who has struggled with their mental health, having someone just stop for a chat would’ve been great for me to know that someone was listening to me. Young people need to be heard on this issue, so it starts to get destigmatised and then those older than us feel comfortable to talk about our mental health.”
ASK was co-designed by young people from the Scottish Youth Parliament and was developed around what our young people told us they wanted adults to say and do when concerned about them.
They came up with ASK.. Approach them, Speak to them, Keep checking on them.
ASK stands for Approach them, Speak to them and Keep checking on them.
ASK can help adults to strike up a conversation with a young person about how they’re feeling and help adults to access the right information about how to support them.
Our young people told us that this is how they want the adults in their life to check in on them and make sure they’re okay. They shared the reasons why they want adults to ASK
Because the people closest to them might not see it
Because they might not have the courage to ask for help
Because being mistaken is better than not checking at all
Speak to them…
Because it opens the door for them to speak to you
Because they might not know that support is available
Because a chat might be all they need to feel better
Keep checking on them…
Because their behaviour might not match their words
Because a bad day could become something bigger
Because seeing someone make progress is a great feeling
External resource library
Our ASK library of external resources and information covers five topics areas related to children and young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
- Overview of mental health
- Mental health and development
- Physical health and mental health
- Promoting wellbeing and prevention
Each topic hosts a selection of existing resources and information sources to help you support the children and young people you interact with. The library is split across three different levels of practice, defined by the nature of your interaction with children and young people:
- Support for all – baseline information for all adults interacting with children and young people
- Early support – information for all adults with substantial contact with children and young people who may experience challenges to their mental health and wellbeing
- Additional support – information for adults with regular and intense contact with children and young people known to struggle with their mental health and wellbeing
We have co-designed a poster with our young people to help raise awareness of ASK and our library of resources and information to help adults better support young people.
You can also download social media assets to help you spread the ASK message on your social media platforms.
Knowledge and Skills Framework
The Knowledge and Skills Framework, developed by NHS Education NES Scotland, sets out the levels of knowledge and skills required by adults working with children and young people to support their wellbeing.
The framework takes a rights-respecting approach that upholds the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child and European Convention on Human Rights. It is intended to be used by all staff that work with children, young people, and their families.
The framework covers four levels of practice: Informed, Skilled, Enhanced and Specialist, and covers five dimensions of working with children and young people: Child Development and Attachment; Mental health in Children, Young People and their Families; Engagement, Containment and Communication; Identification and Understanding of Need; Supports and Interventions.
Across all dimensions and practice levels, the framework sets out the level of knowledge and skills required by staff to effectively support the children and young people they work with.