Parent Mental Health Day

27 January 2023General News

It’s crucial to discuss and raise awareness of Parental Mental Health as recent studies have found that approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. In 2020, research found that 48% of parents believed the level of stress in their lives had increased since the pandemic. Similarly, 31% adults reported that their mental health had deteriorated since the pandemic. Its equally important to define what a parent is, a parent is someone who nurtures and cares for a child, this can be a biological mother and father, stepmother, stepfather, adoptive parents, carers and guardians, the list goes on.

A parent’s mental health occasionally can impact their children’s lives. A way of maintaining a healthy balance between a child, parent and their mental health would be to have open and honest communication. This can seem quite daunting to begin with; however, it can be beneficial to avoid any confusion or concerns your child may be having. It’s important to stick with clear and age-appropriate information and be open to questions they may have. 

There are steps parents can take to help themselves, such as:

  • Trying to spend more time with nature, whether you are taking a stroll on your lunch break in work, or an afternoon walk in a country park on the weekends. Studies have found and increased amount of exposure to nature and physical activity can boost mental health.
  • Breathing exercises such as the square breathing technique – this involves breathing in, holding the breath, exhaling and holding it again — all for four counts apiece. You can repeat the cycle multiple times. This exercise can leave you with a sense of relaxation and leads to clearer thoughts, helping to reset emotional peaks.
  • Try to make time for yourself. This can be easier said than done with when maintaining a busy household, but even 10 minutes a day can make a vast difference to your wellbeing.

There is also a tremendous amount of external support available to parents struggling with their mental health:

  • Mental Health Services – These can be provided by your GP or mental health worker. Your GP will be able to advise on services in your local area.
  • If you are struggling to get the right support you need, an advocate might be able to assist you. The role of an advocate is to listen to your needs and support your choices. You can fine more around advocacy and how to access this type of support here.
  • There is a huge number of charities and voluntary organisations across the UK, a great place to start your journey to support is with Mind – click here to find your local Mind service.
  • Helplines are a valuable source of support when needed imminently or in a crisis, with specially trained staff available to be a lending ear and to provide guidance:
  • Samaritans – 116 123 (Open 24/7)
  • SANEline – 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day)
  • Shout – if you prefer not to talk, text SHOUT to 85258 (Open 24/7)
  • NHS – 111 (Open 24/7)