Bupa creates children’s mental health guide for parents

04 February 2019 . United Kingdom

Bupa has created a guide to help parents to start a conversation about mental health and resilience with their children.

Teenage boy lost in thoughts

The guide focuses on the most common issues – anxiety disorder and depression – and offers tips and guidance on spotting the signs, starting the conversation, and treating and managing mental health concerns.

It comes after research by Bupa UK found children’s mental health is among the greatest concerns for parents, on par with physical health and academic performance.

The vast majority of parents believe that there is greater awareness of children’s mental health than when they were growing up. However, over a third (36%) of parents find it hard to talk to their child about their emotional wellbeing, and two in five parents (41%) with teenage children struggle to identify the symptoms of mental ill health.

For a child struggling with poor mental health an early diagnosis and fast access to support can help aid their recovery and the long-term management of their condition. The research also indicates that it benefits the whole family. The majority (80%) of parents that have children who have started treatment believe that it has improved their home life.

Pablo Vandenabeele, Clinical Director for Mental Health at Bupa UK Insurance, said: “Like our physical health, we can experience mental health issues at any age. Our research shows that parents are increasingly aware of mental health issues, but many find it hard to talk to their child about it. At Bupa, our mental health support colleagues talk to many parents who have questions about how to identify if their child may need support with their mental health, helping them with starting a conversation on mental health and how to build their child’s resilience.”

The study also revealed the ‘triggers’ that parents feel are impacting their children’s mental health. The main causes were physical and online bullying, moving to a different school or social circle and pressure to succeed at school.1 

Pablo Vandenabeele continued: "We’ve created this guide to help any parent, carer or guardian who is concerned that their child may be struggling with a mental health condition. We hope it empowers parents who are worried about their child’s mental health and helps more children receive support when they need it.”

Notes to editor

About the research

Opinium Research surveyed 1,004 UK parents with a child/children aged 4-18 years and in primary, secondary or further education online between 24 August - 3 September 2018 on behalf of Bupa. Results are nationally representative.

Respondents were asked to state the level of worry they placed on factors for their child/children, with one in seven parents (15%) declaring they ‘worry a lot’ about their child’s mental health, physical health and academic performance. 19% worry a lot about their future financial prospects.

1 Parents said that physical (83%) and online bullying (81%), moving to a different school or social circle (81%) and pressure to succeed at school (79%) would be impactful on their child’s mental health.

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives. With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

Health insurance accounts for the major part of our business with 17.5m customers and contributes 73% of revenue. We operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals in some markets, with 15.8m customers. We care for around 22,000 residents in our aged care businesses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

We directly employ around 83,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Chile, Poland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Turkey, Brazil, the US, Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.