Mental health and wellbeing issues faced by parents and carers contacting the Parentline counselling service have increased significantly over the past year, a report has revealed.

Parentline is a confidential telephone and online counselling service that provides education, guidance and support for parents and other individuals who care for children in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

In the Parentline Overview 2013  revealed that across all calls to the service, contacts about parent mental health and emotional wellbeing showed the highest increase since 2012.

According to General Manager of Counselling Services, Wendy Protheroe the increase of close to three per cent is of significant concern with some callers needing urgent intensive support services.

“Fifty-three per cent said they were coping with the mental stress but needed support, 29% said their issue was interfering with their parenting, while in 5% of cases our counsellors needed to initiate an urgent intervention strategy to assist the caller,” Ms Protheroe said.

“Parents and carers can be under significant stress, through worries about work or money, along with managing partner relationship issues and the challenging or violent behaviour of their child.

“The challenging behaviour of children and parent-child relationships are the top two reasons parents and carers contact Parentline.”

The majority of contacts about mental and emotional wellbeing were from single parents (71%) and parents with a female child (63%). Parents and carers with young children aged up to nine years made up the majority of contacts about the issue (67%).

On average, counsellors respond to 211 parent and carer contacts each week. The top five concerns reported in 2013 were:

  1. Challenging behaviour and discipline
  2. Parent-child relationships
  3. Child mental health/emotional well-being
  4. Parenting strategies
  5. Parent mental health/emotional well-being

In 2013, Parentline clients ranged from teenagers to 85 year olds, with 94% aged 21 to 59 years. The average age was 40 years. Females made up 83% of contacts and males 17%.

Parentline’s telephone and email service operates between 8am-10pm, seven days a week. Web counselling is available from 11am-2pm, Tuesday and Thursday.

For counselling support call Parentline 1300 30 1300 or visit The Parentline Overview 2013 is available for download from the website. Parentline receives funding from the Queensland and Northern Territory Governments.

If you would like to find a counsellor or psychotherapist in your local area, search our directory for a qualified counsellor here.


photo credit: makelessnoise 

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