Talking to your family about mental health

December 10, 2016

The importance of talking about stress, anxiety or depression with children and young people has recently been highlighted by the Time to Change campaign.

As part of this campaign, a survey of 1,100 parents showed that more than half had never broached the subject of mental health with their children. Of these parents, 20% reported not knowing how to ask about mental health.

Despite recent statistics showing that one in 10 young people will experience a mental health problem, the poll found that 45% of parents felt they did not need to talk about mental health because “it was not an issue”.

The campaign is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness and funded by the Department of Health, and aims to break down the stigma associated with mental health.

Speaking about the recent survey, Sue Baker, the director of Time to Change, has said:

Our research has shown that talking about mental health is still seen as too awkward for many parents and young people and we need to change that in the home, at school, on social media and in wider social circles.”

The Time to Change campaign is also working in 60 schools in England alongside the charity YoungMinds. Through this work, staff are given training and free resources to deliver sessions in secondary schools. In addition, young people who have had mental health problems are to deliver education sessions to share their experience of living with a mental illness and the impact of the stigma on their lives.

For more information about this campaign, please follow the link to the Time for Change campaign website.