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World Mental Health Day: 9% of parents tell no one about child’s medical fears – MetLife UK

by | Oct 9, 2023

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Having protection in place that supports families should their child(ren) have an accident or become seriously ill, historically hasn’t been easy to secure. 

Following the recent launch of ‘ChildShield’– the first of its kind standalone protection policy for children – latest research from MetLife UK shows that six in ten (61%) parents say the worry they have for their child(ren) causes them to feel stressed and anxious, with almost two in five (39%) also suffering sleepless nights.

Whilst it’s only natural to feel worried about your children, the new study highlights the significant stain that this causes parents. Almost a third (32%) admit they’re mentally and physically exhausted. Perhaps more concerning is that one in five (20%) say the worrying is making them depressed, and almost the same number (18%) confirm it can cause arguments within the household.

 
 

The research, which explores what it is like to be a parent, the challenges, the milestones, and the financial protection they have to support them, found that amongst the biggest worries is their child’s mental health (89%). This was closely followed by the fear that they won’t be able to get a doctor’s appointment or help should they need it (87%).

General health (95%) also ranked highly, particularly the older their child gets, as three in ten (30%) worry their child won’t tell them about health concerns, and a quarter (25%) worry their child(ren) won’t take their health and wellbeing seriously as they get older. 

Despite the strain that worrying is having on parents, one in ten (9%) admit they don’t or wouldn’t turn to anyone for support. 

 

Who parents turn to for support: 

  1. Their spouse – 45%
  2. Their parents – 34%
  3. Their friends – 27%
  4. Their doctor – 12%
  5. Their siblings – 11%
  6. I don’t/wouldn’t turn to anyone – 9%
  7. Online support / forums – 7%
  8. Other family members (aunt, uncle, cousins etc) – 7%
  9. My children – 6%
  10. Parents of my child’s friends – 6%

To support parents, MetLife UK has launched a first of its kind product that supports families should their child(ren) have an accident or become seriously ill. 

From just £6 per month, ChildShield provides financial protection should parents need it – for situations such as having to take time off work to care for their child(ren) – removing some of the stress and worry parents face when their child is ill or has an accident. And because we never stop caring for our children, ChildShield covers all children in the family up to 23 years old – including stepchildren and children who no longer live within the same household.

 
 

There’s no limit to the number of claims that can be made. Policy holders and their families will also get access to our virtual GP appointment service, GP24. Providing families with fast and direct access to medical experts and valuable remote healthcare services – including unlimited consultations with UK-based remote GPs available to book any time, day, or night, 365 days a year. 

Rich Horner, Head of Individual Protection at MetLife UK comments: “It’s only natural that as a parent we worry about our children – from health issues to potential accidents, to how they’re getting on at school and university. But worrying can have lasting effects on families, so where we can, we must support parents to help relieve some of the stress they’re facing.

“That’s why I’m delighted we have launched ChildShield, particularly at a time when many households are struggling financially. The reality is that despite our best efforts, accidents and illnesses do happen. And when children suffer something serious, we want parents to focus on being there in the moment your child needs you – not worrying about the financial impact.”

 

“Beyond that, we wanted to offer greater support to help alleviate some of the stress that comes with being a parent – which is why ChildShield includes a Wellbeing Support Centre Hub and a virtual GP service (GP24) to offer support 365 days a year, 24/7. Parents shouldn’t have to worry that they can’t get a GP appointment or prescription when it’s needed, so we wanted to address real concerns through a simple, affordable and practical product. ChildShield provides the peace of mind, not just for the big moments, but the everyday ones too.” 

The new product, which is currently available through selected distributors, will be widely available by the end of the year. 

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