Most children keep mental health issues to themselves – study shows

17 March 2022

Almost two thirds of children don’t talk to their parents about their mental health, a new study has shown.

The study was commissioned by Comic Relief last month to shine a light on the importance of having conversations about mental health at home.

Sheffield mum-of-two Therese Collins, aged 45, said children need to understand that: “It’s okay not to be okay and to be open about it and to not go and hide away.”

The study was a Census wide poll of 2,022 UK parents who have children aged 16 and under.

This comes despite recent statistics showing that over 400,000 children in England aged 18 and under needed specialist mental health treatment between April 2021 and October 2021.

Compared to the same period 2019, this is a 77 per cent increase.

The CEO of Sheffield Mind, Margaret Lewis, said although the response from parents will be nothing but supportive, children are still concerned about the reaction they might get.

Sheffield Mind Logo

The logo for Sheffield Mind

Comic Relief has been supporting children’s mental health work for over 30 years and currently supports 45 organisations in the UK and across the world.

This year, Red Nose Day created resources that are designed to help teachers support children with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The chief executive of Comic Relief, Samir Patel, said: “We are experiencing shocking, deeply worrying, daily coverage of the war on Ukraine.

“Parents need to be aware that their children may not be sharing the huge mental impact this is having on them.”

The survey found that almost half of parents would hide their own mental health worries from their children to prevent it negatively impacting their child’s mental health.

Some reasons for this are the recent rises in living costs and the coronavirus pandemic.

Percentage of parents who are worried about how living costs and Covid-19 will affect their child’s mental health

If you feel you or your child want support with your mental health you can call the Samaritans free at 116 123.

More statistics can be found in the video below.

Written by Connor Bragger

I am a freelance journalist that is currently studying Journalism at the university of Sheffield. My ambition is to be a broadcast journalist which is why I started a YouTube channel (Bragster) that has around 180 subscribers to become more confident in front of a camera.

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Written by Connor Bragger

I am a freelance journalist that is currently studying Journalism at the university of Sheffield. My ambition is to be a broadcast journalist which is why I started a YouTube channel (Bragster) that has around 180 subscribers to become more confident in front of a camera.
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