Children’s Mental Health Week: 9 year olds need mental health support

One in four (26%) parents say their child has required or would require mental health support, regardless of whether they received any or not, according to research from MetLife UK. And this number could be higher as 13% say they aren’t sure.

Almost one in five (19%) parents say their child is currently receiving face-to-face mental health support, whilst nearly one in ten (9%) say their child is getting support virtually or via phone.

The research found that the average age that children are receiving mental health support is 9. Whilst 17% of children are under the age of 10, and 14% are aged between 10 and 20 years old.

When it comes to support, parents say their child(ren) turn to them in the first instance (21%), followed by a doctor (13%) and then their teacher (11%). One in 20 (5%) turn to no one.

 Parents say their child(ren) turn to the following people for mental health support:

1.     Parent/carer/guardian – 21%

2.     Doctor – 13%

3.     Their teacher – 11%

4.     Counsellor (face-to-face) – 10%

5.     One of their friends – 6%

6.     Grandparents – 6%

7.     Counsellor (virtual/phone) – 6%

8.     No one – 5%

9.     A family friend – 4%

10.   A sibling – 4%

It can be a worrying time for parents as they battle the worry of their children. The research found that six in ten (61%) parents say the worry they have for their child(ren) causes them to feel stressed and anxious, with almost two in five (39%) also suffering sleepless nights.

Almost a third (32%) admit they’re mentally and physically exhausted. Perhaps more concerning is that one in five (20%) say the worrying is making them depressed, and almost the same number (18%) confirm it can cause arguments within the household.

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection, MetLife UK comments: “It can be a worrying time for parents when their child is poorly, has an accident or needs mental health support. Often, we want to help but we might not know how. Wanting the best for our children can often make what is already a difficult time even more tricky and emotional. And in situations where our children are poorly, often our own health and wellbeing is impacted and overlooked. Where we can, we must support parents so that they can focus on where they’re needed most – caring for their children. We must also help them as they try to juggle the stress of caring for loved ones, whilst working and managing general day-to-day life both through financial protection and wellbeing support.”