Let’s Connect – Children’s Mental Health week

This week marks Children's Mental Health Week (6-12 February 2023).

The focus on mental health has been increasing in recent years, with one in six children aged between five and 16 likely to have experienced mental health challenges. As a result, there are a growing number of workdays lost by parents, guardians, carers, and those with childcare responsibilities, to support and manage such challenges.

Handling employees who need to care for children that are suffering with their mental health can be difficult for any employer.

Whether it’s a care giver suddenly called out of work to attend to a child at school, take them to medical appointments, or needing to spend more time at home to care for them, it invariably impacts upon the employee’s ability to carry out their work.

With this year’s theme being ‘Let’s Connect’, we look at some practical tips employers can utilise when managing employees that need to care for children suffering with their mental health:

  • Connect with employees regularly – this is as vital in an employer/employee relationship as it is in a child-caregiver one
  • Raise awareness amongst management – encourage discussions on having those difficult conversations in a sympathetic and understanding way
  • Invest in training – if there isn’t the budget, mental health employee resource groups are a low-cost way to increase awareness, build communities, and offer peer support
  • Ensure that policies relating to parental leave, emergency dependent leave and flexible working are up to date and have adequate flexibility and are inclusive. Make employees and managers aware that these policies exist and where to find them
  • Signpost employees to support services; whether these are offered by the employer or are independent bodies that specialise in dealing with mental health
  • Consider health insurance offering and whether to expand this to include children that your employees have responsibility for
  • Have a Mental Health Champion, a role model or point of contact in the business for employees to consult or confide in and take advice from


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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