When you’re not sure what steps to take to help your child, start here.

If you’re worried about how your child is coping with the extra pressure and changes from the pandemic and wondering if you and your family may need help, the state has a website built just for you.


Handholdma.org was designed by state mental health offices in collaboration with mental health and child development experts to help parents make important decisions about their child’s development and mental health.


But unlike more treatment-focused sites, it is set up to do just what its name suggests - give parents a “hand to hold” as they walk the unfamiliar territory of mental health for children.


The website sections, for example, focus on the big questions a parent might have, such as: Should I Worry?, What Can I Do?, and Who Can Help? Clicking on any of these headings opens up more information but again, all in easy accessible formats to help someone who is just getting started.


One of the best features is a video with comments from parents talking about when they first thought their child might need help, what led to their decision to get help, and how that decision worked for them. The parents who are interviewed are frank, open and honest about their concerns and the steps they took.


If you’ve already made the decision to seek help, the site offers information to help you find the best person to help your child. There’s also a list of steps you can take to prepare for and make the most of your first meeting with a professional.


The information here might also be found on other sites, but handhold.org is worth checking out for presenting difficult, potentially anxiety-producing information, in accessible, helpful ways.


As it says on the site, “Sometimes it can feel easier to just hope things will get better. But you are doing the best thing for your child by taking steps to make sure that they do. It takes patience and it takes work, but you don’t have to do it alone.”


Check it out here.


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