Bupa is launching a new podcast series addressing the tough issues, concerns and questions facing parents today.
Featuring mother-of-four Heather McLean and father-of-two Tim Hipgrave, the podcast aims to highlight the importance of parents talking about their worries and supporting each other for their own personal wellbeing.
The podcast series will cover a range of topics from mental health to lifestyle choices, to supporting your children’s different needs.
Heather said: “I have four kids and I am a grandmother of soon to be two. Both my sons and one of my daughters have dyslexia, and one of my sons has ADHD. Both my daughters are on the autism spectrum and one of my daughters has dyspraxia. So, I have a lot of experience of challenging behaviour and additional needs.
“I strongly believe in open, honest communication and that if you concentrate on problems you will only see problems. I believe in focusing on possibilities and opportunities. I hope the podcast will open conversations and minds. My advice to parents who are worried or concerned about their kids is to talk to them, and have the conversation.”
Tim added: “Parents often feel they have to work things out by themselves, and that they have to be perfect. This can be really difficult because nothing you plan to do with your kids, or how you want to be as a parent, ever goes fully to plan.
“It’s important for parents to talk to each other so they know they’re not alone. It can really help you stop being so self-critical, and you can also learn from other people’s experiences – mainly that no one else is perfect either.”
Seventy percent of calls to Bupa UK on mental health have a family or relationship aspect and a quarter (25%) are parents calling for their children, with parents often expressing they do not know where to turn. Bupa’s own research has shown that factors like academic pressure and social media can lead to increased mental health symptoms, including anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and insomnia.
In response to increasing demand for mental health care in recent years, in June this year Bupa UK launched its most extensive mental health cover for its consumer insurance customers. Designed with families in mind, the new proposition is unique in supporting mental health conditions related to learning or behavioural disorders and can cover children from birth.
The podcast series is available to listen or download on SoundCloud.