Have you noticed a change in this since we've been in lockdown and through lockdown?
Has it got worse?
The disruption caused by the COVID pandemic has brought an increase in the volume and complexity of calls from Bupa members to its Family Mental Healthline.
The pandemic's had a significant impact on people's mental health, and that includes children and young people.
What we've seen particularly is the effect that the disruption's had on their routine and education and how they socialise, so in effect, what's happened is the key experiences that shape who they are as they grow up have been disrupted.
And research commissioned by Bupa in the autumn of 2020 found three in four 13 to 19-year-olds had experienced physical health issues related to poor mental health.
Half had turned to harmful coping mechanisms, including drink, drugs or self-harm, to alleviate symptoms, and 45% of parents said they needed more guidance on how to talk to their teens about mental health.
Lockdown has allowed parents to see first hand some of the behaviours and obsessional traits that could've remained hidden, and which, prior to the pandemic, they'd been unable to see.
The Family Mental Healthline is a dedicated line that's separate to any other lines coming into Bupa that parents can call in on, that will come directly into the mental health team.
As a parent myself, if your child or your young person is struggling, you can have a tendency to think, Oh, it's their teenage years, oh, it's their moving schools.
You always try and put some reason and rationale behind what's happening to your child.
You wouldn't naturally think, Oh, it's their mental health wellbeing.
So it's specialist conversations that will be taking place to explore what's going on for that young person, and what advice and guidance is needed.
And in the case of one mum who called when her teenager started to struggle, support was available for both parent and child.
Prior to lockdown the young person was very much engaged in activities of sport inside and outside of school.
When lockdown had hit, that structure and routine had kind of gone out the window.
They were struggling to manage.
Mum being at home a lot more with the lockdown, she was able to identify that there was over-exercising, there was restriction of food, there was weight loss and irritability, and we discussed what had been going on.
I was able to give her some tips and techniques of how to manage, and this support was consistent over a couple of weeks until the young person actually wanted to engage.
Mum called back in, and we was able to formulate a treatment plan.
And what's important here is that we also are here to support you.
Often, the parent will ring in, they'll talk at length about their child and what's happening, and resolution can be brought to that in terms of identifying what's needed, and then the question that's always asked is, how are you?
And I think that's the significant moment where most parents will break down, and it's like a volcano erupting in terms of emotional state, emotional wellbeing, and it brings that opportunity for that parent to say how they've been affected.
At Bupa we understand that mealtimes can sometimes be a stressful experience.
[Nick] With online content as well to support both children and their families to better understand mental health, the focus is very much on early intervention.
The earlier that someone does receive that help and assistance, the better the outcome is likely to be.
So therefore, if you are worried about somebody or, you know, they're not being themselves, then do start up that conversation and ask them how they are because if they do need to access help, then it is better that that's done sooner rather than later.
Bupa is continuing to expand and up-skill its mental health team, giving children, young people and their families the advice, guidance and support they need every step of the way.