Understanding and Responding to Emotional Distress


The Understanding and Responding to Emotional Distress course is designed for any professional, working with children and young people in any setting.

  • Understand the intentions and/or functions of and suicidal ideas in children.
  • Look at ways of responding to extreme emotional distress in the moment.
  • Learn how to complete a risk assessment and safety plan with a child and their family.
  • Explore how to have difficult conversations with parents/carers after their child has presented with extreme distress.
  • Look at preventative approaches to self-harm and how to build a supportive environment.

The Understanding and Responding to Emotional Distress course is CPD Accredited

Course Overview

Keeping Children Safe in Education stipulates that staff are well placed to observe children day-to-day and identify those whose behaviour suggests that they may be experiencing a mental health problem or be at risk of developing one.

Children learn how to regulate their emotions through the process by which their parents or professional respond to their distress.

These types of emotional moments in children’s lives shape their ongoing development and future well-being. More specifically, it is in the accumulation of these moments that children learn about their emotions and how to deal with them.

What children learn from these experiences will either support constructive ways of dealing with their emotions, or hinder their ability to manage their emotions in healthy ways. The experiences children have in this regard are largely influenced by how their parents or professionals respond to them in such moments of distress.

39.2% of 6 to 16 year olds had experienced deterioration in mental health since 2017.

The proportion of children and young people with an eating disorder increased from 6.7% to 13% in 11 to 16 year olds since 2017.

10.6% of 6 to 16 year old missed more than 15 days of school during the 2020 autumn term. Children with a mental health disorder were more than twice as likely to miss this much schooling.

The rate of self-harm among young children in the UK has doubled over the last six years, according to a new analysis. The number of children aged nine to 12 admitted to hospital having hurt themselves intentionally rose from 221 in 2013-14 to 508 in 2019-20. This means an average of 10 hospital admissions every week.

The mental health of children and young people has never been so important. Professionals need to have the skills and resources, to identify those with a probable mental health disorder and provide immediate support. This course will provide expand your knowledge of mental health in children and build your resilience when you need to provide support. You will also have the skills to implement measures in your organisation, to support mental health and promote awareness.

This course has been created and delivered by Milly Wildish, a child protection specialist who has worked in criminal, education and local authority settings. Milly is a national safeguarding panel member and is currently engaged in a large-scale independent investigation, into current and historical allegations of child abuse.

The Understanding and Responding to Emotional Distress course is CPD Accredited

Explore additional training opportunities