Third of working parents worry about their children’s mental health

Children’s mental health is cause of worry for working parentsToday is World Mental Health Day and new research from Bupa has found that concerns over mental health is not confined to adults, as a third of employees say they worry about their children’s mental health while at work. The research, conducted among working parents of 4-18 year olds reveals that children’s mental health is among parents’ greatest concerns, on par with physical health and academic performance. The only concern that ranks higher is future financial prospects. The vast majority of parents believe that there is greater awareness of children’s mental health than when they were growing up, with seven in 10 (72 percent) employed parents claiming that they talk to their child about their emotional health and wellbeing more than their parents did. It’s clear that parents see the importance of supporting their children’s mental health, but they still require support. Two in five (38 percent) struggle to talk to their child about their emotional wellbeing, while almost a third (29 percent) would keep their child’s diagnosis a secret from their employer.

For a child struggling with poor mental health, an early diagnosis and fast access to support can help aid recovery and long-term management of their condition. The research also indicates that it benefits the whole family. The majority (82 percent) of working parents that have children who have started treatment believe that it has improved their home life. This World Mental Health Day the theme is children’s mental health and Bupa has created a guide to help parents start a conversation about mental health and resilience.

Pablo Vandenabeele, Clinical Director for Mental Health at Bupa UK Insurance, said: “Like our physical health, we can experience mental health issues at any age. Our research shows that parents are increasingly aware of mental health issues but many find it hard to talk to their child about it. At Bupa, our mental health support colleagues talk to many parents who have questions about how to identify if their child may need support with their mental health.

“Our Business Mental Health Advantage offers leading cover and ease of access, giving employees peace of mind that their children can access the right support and care when they need it. We’ve created this guide to help any parent, carer or guardian who is concerned that their child may be struggling with a mental health condition. We hope it empowers parents who are worried about their child’s mental health and helps more children receive support when they need it”.

 The study also revealed the ‘triggers’ that parents feel are impacting their children’s mental health. The main causes were physical and online bullying, moving to a different school or social circle and pressure to succeed at school.