A new survey has revealed a staggering 55% of parents have NEVER spoken to their children about mental health. As someone who talks about mental health almost every day sometimes I forget that I live in a little bubble of open and honest conversation; the truth is that for many people the lack of awareness and stigma surrounding mental health means that the topic just isn’t discussed.
Something has to change!
The survey, conducted on behalf of the Time to Change campaign also found that 45% of parents did not feel they needed to have such a conversation because it “was not an issue”. This tells me that it is time we did more to make parents aware of the true importance of mental health. We already know that 1 in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem (that’s 3 in every class room) and that suicide remains the second biggest killer of young people. This means that even those young people who aren’t themselves directly affected by a mental health illness will know someone who is.
I’ve worked with many young people in the years I’ve been involved in the mental health arena – and so often hear that children and young people struggled in silence because they were ashamed or embarrassed to talk to their parents, guardians or teachers.
Mental health illness should not be synonymous with shame.
The charity Young Minds has been granted government funding to go into 60 schools across the country to raise awareness of this issue between students and their parents. This is a great start to instigating some change – but there are over three thousand schools in England alone; which means that barely 2% of schools will actually be receiving this education.
If you are a parent, teacher or other professional working with a child or young person in education. and want your school to include more about mental health then it is time to be brave enough to be the first voice – start the conversation.
If I can help you or your school don’t hesitate to email me at