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Fathers less likely to worry about child’s mental health

Mental health problems affect about one in ten children, according to the mental health foundation.

Some of the products of mental illness include depression, anxiety, self-harm and conduct disorder – these can affect people of all ages.

New research by Action for Children has discovered that fathers are less likely to worry about their children’s mental health.

A poll of 2,000 parents revealed almost half of mothers (47 per cent) feel the problem is a concern, compared to a third of fathers (32 per cent).

The charity is calling for more early support for families to help prevent major mental health issues in the future.

24-year-old Lee, a father of one from Hampshire said: “I had a bad split from my partner, and it left my son feeling very anxious, as a result his behaviour became very difficult and he would panic when he wasn’t with me”.

He added: “I felt like I couldn’t cope but staff at the children’s centre helped me regain my confidence and I did parenting courses to better understand and support my son”.

Taking steps towards dealing with and asking for help with mental health can be difficult for all involved.

The survey also found some 32 per cent of the parents said their children’s diet and weight was a concern, with 21 per cent also worried about serious illnesses like cancer.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, said: “Spending time and money preventing a problem rather than repairing the damage is the right and logical thing to do”.

He added: “With councils facing reduced funds, we are calling for a shift in funding towards early support to help prevent concerns or issues from becoming major problems”.

Remember getting the right help can give children and young people the emotional support they need.

Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to good physical health, relationships, education and work.

Information on where to seek help and advice can be found here

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