Parents want mental health education in schools, mental health days off for students

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ARLINGTON, Va., December 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — An overwhelming number of parents support mental health education in schools and “mental health days” for their children, according to a poll conducted today by Ipsos on behalf of the National Alliance Against Mental Illness (NAMI). The same survey found that 44% of parents of children 17 and under say they are concerned about their children’s mental health, but far fewer (16%) have sought help for them.

The release of the poll follows advice from the Surgeon General to address the youth mental health crisis.

“NAMI’s survey reveals that parents are deeply concerned about their children’s mental health and, most importantly, understand the value of mental health awareness and treatment,” said NAMI’s CEO. Daniel H. Gillison Jr. “It is encouraging to see such support for mental health education in schools and mental health days for students. This is why NAMI has educational programs for young people like NAMI Ending the Silence and advocates for better mental health resources in schools.”

“But despite parents’ confidence in their ability to recognize signs of mental health problems in their children, there is a worrying gap between those who have concerns and those who actually seek help,” Gillison said. “We encourage parents to seek help for their children if they see any signs that cause them concern.”

While 84% of parents say their children have shown a lot of resilience during the pandemic, more than a third of parents (35%) are thinking more about their children’s mental health than before. Although most parents report little change in their children’s activities and behaviors since the start of the pandemic, many of the changes that were reported were negative: 41% spend more time on screens, 25% play or exercise less, 37% participate less in school activities and 16% sleep less.

As mentioned earlier, parents are largely in favor of mental health education in schools. The survey revealed that 87% of parents somewhat or strongly support mental health education in schools. The poll also found that 70% of all parents expressed support for mental health days for students. Notably, 89% of parents say their child’s mental health matters more than their academic success.

For more mental health and youth resources, visit nami.org/youth.

Methodology:This poll was conducted November 9-17, 2021 by Ipsos, on behalf of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), using the KnowledgePanel®. It is based on a representative sample of 1,010 US adults (ages 18+), parents of children ages 0-17. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the largest national grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Join the conversation at nami.org | facebook.com/nami | instagram.com/namicommunicate | twitter.com/namicommunicate #Together4MH

SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness

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