Bupa UK Insurance has launched a mental health helpline for parents and carers to help them speak to their children about mental health.
The Family Mental HealthLine provides a team of trained advisers and mental health nurses to listen and provide advice, guidance and support to parents.
It also offers signposting to online resources for additional support and guidance, and nurse-led case management to help parents with all aspects of their child’s mental health wellbeing, including planning and co-ordinating specialist care if needed.
The launch follows a poll by the insurer which found 59% of teenagers are experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health including low self-esteem, anxiousness, depression, insomnia and loneliness.
However, their parents struggle to identify these issues with six in 10 (63%) admitting they would be unable to distinguish between teenage mood swings and the symptoms of a mental health condition.
The survey also found more than half of parents are unsure where to turn for help. Three in 10 have tried searching online for answers but this has left them more confused and worried.
Meanwhile, two in five teens (39%) admitted they are rarely honest with their parents about how they are feeling.
Dr Pablo Vandenabeele, clinical director for mental health at Bupa UK Insurance, said that over the past few years Bupa has seen a big increase in the number of customers wanting support for children they care for.
“The new Family Mental HealthLine at Bupa aims to give parents a trusted source of advice when they’re not sure where to turn,” he added. The helpline is available to anyone with Bupa UK private medical insurance who might be worried about a child’s emotional wellbeing, even if they do not have cover for the child.