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  • Publish Date: Posted 14 days ago
  • Author:by Clare Miles

The Ripple Effect: How Children's Mental Health Affects Parents

In the below blog post, Claims Recruitment Specialist and Advocate for Mental Wellbeing and Mindfulness Clare Miles talks candidly about her experience as a working parent and dealing with her own and her families mental health. Thank you Clare for sharing your story.​Shocking new statistics show that more than a quarter of a million (270,300) children and young people are still waiting for mental health support after being referred to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) in 2022-23 (Source: Children’s Commissioner for England)Children's mental health is a topic of increasing concern in today's society and one that is very close to home for me. There is more awareness than ever which is fantastic, but the support and services available are overwhelmed meaning so many young people are having to wait for help while suffering daily. I can not even begin to understand how hard that is for them and how invalidating it must feel after being brave enough to ask for help!As a parent, this is incredibly difficult to witness. Our primary concern is always the well-being of our children and all we ever want to do is help them, fix things, show them how amazing they are, and make their lives better. Sadly sometimes there are things we can not 'fix' and they need the support of professionals. All we can do in these situations is support them through the unknown process, be there for them wholeheartedly, and remind them daily that they are loved and you are incredibly proud of them.When our children are facing mental health challenges, it can take a significant toll on our own mental and emotional health. The constant worry, stress, and feelings of helplessness can consume our thoughts and energy, consequently making it difficult to focus on our professional responsibilities and other aspects of life.The effects of our children's mental health struggles often spill over into our work lives in various ways. For example, frequent disruptions at home due to issues, therapy, or appointments can lead to missing time at work. The emotional strain can also result in decreased productivity, as our minds may be preoccupied with worry or stress.Parents may find themselves struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance as they juggle the demands of their job with the needs of their children. The constant mind battles, guilt, and fear, not to mention the sleepless nights, make it challenging to perform optimally during the workday.Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health issues may prevent parents from seeking support or accommodations in the workplace. Fear of judgment or reprisal from colleagues or supervisors may lead parents to suffer in silence, further exacerbating their stress and anxiety.I am incredibly lucky to work for Gerrard White Consulting who offered me the support I didn't even know I needed. They allowed me to work from home, adjust my duties, be flexible with my hours, and work around the needs of my family. Anthony Butler and the team offered me constant support and words of reassurance which I will be eternally grateful for. This allowed me to truly prioritise my family and be there for them when they needed me.Work felt like the only place where I knew the answers after feeling so helpless at home. This and the appreciation I felt for their support, really incentivised me to ensure that my productivity was never impacted. I may have worked some very random hours but I managed to exceed all my performance targets for the second year running and even received a promotion! Creating a culture of openness and support in the workplace can encourage parents to feel comfortable discussing their challenges and seeking help when needed. By fostering an environment where employees feel valued and supported, employers can help alleviate some of the stress and burden that parents may experience due to their children's mental health struggles, and may even result in increased productivity!The mental health of our children doesn't just affect them, it affects us as parents and our ability to perform at work. By acknowledging that impact and offering support and flexibility in the workplace, employers can help alleviate some of the stress and burden that parents may experience. And trust me, it REALLY helps!!My top survival tips:Be informed - research and understand, never judge or compare Ask for help - reach out to your doctors and find out what support is available for you and your childLearn how to be mindful and practice self care Be honest with your child, your work and yourself!https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2023-wave-4-follow-up

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In the below blog post, Claims Recruitment Specialist and Advocate for Mental Wellbeing and Mindfulness Clare Miles talks candidly about her experience as a working parent and dealing with her own and her families mental health. Thank you Clare for sharing your story.

Shocking new statistics show that more than a quarter of a million (270,300) children and young people are still waiting for mental health support after being referred to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) in 2022-23 (Source: Children’s Commissioner for England)

Children's mental health is a topic of increasing concern in today's society and one that is very close to home for me. There is more awareness than ever which is fantastic, but the support and services available are overwhelmed meaning so many young people are having to wait for help while suffering daily. I can not even begin to understand how hard that is for them and how invalidating it must feel after being brave enough to ask for help!

As a parent, this is incredibly difficult to witness. Our primary concern is always the well-being of our children and all we ever want to do is help them, fix things, show them how amazing they are, and make their lives better. Sadly sometimes there are things we can not 'fix' and they need the support of professionals. All we can do in these situations is support them through the unknown process, be there for them wholeheartedly, and remind them daily that they are loved and you are incredibly proud of them.

When our children are facing mental health challenges, it can take a significant toll on our own mental and emotional health. The constant worry, stress, and feelings of helplessness can consume our thoughts and energy, consequently making it difficult to focus on our professional responsibilities and other aspects of life.

The effects of our children's mental health struggles often spill over into our work lives in various ways. For example, frequent disruptions at home due to issues, therapy, or appointments can lead to missing time at work. The emotional strain can also result in decreased productivity, as our minds may be preoccupied with worry or stress.

Parents may find themselves struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance as they juggle the demands of their job with the needs of their children. The constant mind battles, guilt, and fear, not to mention the sleepless nights, make it challenging to perform optimally during the workday.

Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health issues may prevent parents from seeking support or accommodations in the workplace. Fear of judgment or reprisal from colleagues or supervisors may lead parents to suffer in silence, further exacerbating their stress and anxiety.

I am incredibly lucky to work for Gerrard White Consulting who offered me the support I didn't even know I needed. They allowed me to work from home, adjust my duties, be flexible with my hours, and work around the needs of my family. Anthony Butler and the team offered me constant support and words of reassurance which I will be eternally grateful for. This allowed me to truly prioritise my family and be there for them when they needed me.

Work felt like the only place where I knew the answers after feeling so helpless at home. This and the appreciation I felt for their support, really incentivised me to ensure that my productivity was never impacted. I may have worked some very random hours but I managed to exceed all my performance targets for the second year running and even received a promotion! 

Creating a culture of openness and support in the workplace can encourage parents to feel comfortable discussing their challenges and seeking help when needed. By fostering an environment where employees feel valued and supported, employers can help alleviate some of the stress and burden that parents may experience due to their children's mental health struggles, and may even result in increased productivity!

The mental health of our children doesn't just affect them, it affects us as parents and our ability to perform at work. By acknowledging that impact and offering support and flexibility in the workplace, employers can help alleviate some of the stress and burden that parents may experience. And trust me, it REALLY helps!!

My top survival tips:

  • Be informed - research and understand, never judge or compare 

  • Ask for help - reach out to your doctors and find out what support is available for you and your child

  • Learn how to be mindful and practice self care 

  • Be honest with your child, your work and yourself!

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2023-wave-4-follow-up

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