More than one in four schoolchildren are sad or worried about their families not having enough money, a survey has found.
The survey of 1,323 children aged between 10 and 15 was carried out by YouGov as part of the Mental Health Foundation’s Make It Count campaign, which set out to identify the biggest sources of anxiety in young people.
According to the latest child and adolescent mental health statistics for England, children living in households in the lowest 20 per cent income bracket are more than twice as likely to develop mental health problems as those living in households in the highest 20 per cent income bracket,
“Our survey highlights that many children are seriously worried about their parents’ finances,” said Mark Rowland, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation. “We have a responsibility to help children to deal with this and other pressures they are facing in today’s society.”
Rowland said feelings of sadness and worry can seriously impact children’s day-to-day lives, affecting their ability to sleep and do schoolwork, as well as causing arguments.
“This is why we’re calling for mental health to be at the heart of what children learn in school,” he added. “Schools can play a much bigger role in equipping children with the skills they need. Children are currently facing enormous challenges to their mental health. More evidence based programs could be running in schools across the country to address this trend.”
The survey’s findings about children’s money worries adds to the body of evidence that shows financial pressures are a major cause of stress and mental health problems.
Earlier this year, the Mental Health Foundation found that one in five adults (22 per cent) said that “not having enough money to meet basic needs” caused them stress.
The Mental Health Foundation is asking people to sign its ‘Make it Count’ petition to mental health at the heart of children’s school learning.