Background: As many as 15-20 % of the children and young people (0-18 years) in Norway have mental health problems. At the same time around 40 % of them experience parental breakup in their childhood. Most people think that the family is crucial in children's life, but what is the literature saying? Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to discover the connection between family relations or time with the family and the young people's mental health. Searches were done in PubMed and PsychInfo. Only studies written in English or Norwegian were included. Totally nine articles were included in this student task. Results: Both risk factors within the family associated with mental health problems in children and young people and health promoting factors within the family were discovered. Risk factors were: troubled parental relationship, negative parenting style, parent(s) with mental health problems, bad relationship to parents and little social support outside the family and stress in the family. Health promoting factors were: good parental relationship, positive parenting style and a good relationship to parents. Children also needed to be loved and have time with the family to experience good mental health. Conclusions: It is likely that family play a crucial role in children's life. The family may protect the children against issues with mental health or may harm the child to reduced mental health. As a society it is important to emphasize the important role parents and family have in their children, and to equip families to take the important role as caregivers, making a safe area where the children can grow, develop and be themselves to the fullest.