New report reveals extent of child stress

Nearly half of all children in the UK have suffered from stress and anxiety – causing them to have trouble sleeping, according to a new report.

The finding has come about following research conducted by the Big Lottery Fund to promote its new HeadStart programme, which is aiming to help those aged between ten and 14 who struggle with stress management.

Warning signs for parents to watch out for included their youngsters avoiding their friends or missing meals, with 58 per cent of them feeling stressed at least once a week. One in six admitted feeling this way every day.

The majority of respondents to the survey listed exams as their main source of worry, while a third of them also cited family problems – like their mums and dads arguing or splitting up.

Chief medical officer professor Dame Sally Davies said: “We already know that most lifelong mental health problems start to develop by the time a child reaches the age of 14, so it is vital that they are identified and get the support and treatment they need as early as possible.”

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