Parents Helpline Evaluation Report

Read what parents think about the Parents Helpline, why they use it, what advice they receive and how it makes a difference.

About the Report

The YoungMinds Parents Helpline offers free, confidential online and telephone support to any adult worried about the mental health, emotional wellbeing or behaviour of a child or young person aged 0-25. The helpline has two tiers, a frontline service provided by telephone and email, and a second-tier callback service delivered by qualified Mental Health Professionals.

In April 2017 YoungMinds commissioned an independent organisation, Fiveways, to evaluate the service. In May and June 2017 an online survey was completed by 273 parents who had used the helpline. 57% of survey respondents had used the phone frontline service, 43% the email frontline service, and 33% had received a telephone callback. Following the survey, 19 parents undertook a more in-depth telephone interview. The findings in this report are based on combined analysis of both the quantitative and qualitative research.

The research is broken down into the following key areas: why parents contact YoungMinds; the advice and information parents receive and what they do with that help; how the helpline makes a difference; what parents think and feel about the service; a comparison of the telephone and email frontline service; and the additional impact of the callback service.

Why parents contact the Helpline

88% of all parents said they were ‘looking for more information about their child’s difficulties’

Most parents contact the helpline looking for information and practical advice. The most common reason given (by 88% of all parents) was that they were “looking for more information about their child’s difficulties”, followed by “needing practical advice on what to do about their child’s behaviour” (83%), and “needing practical advice about Mental Health Services for my child” (81%). Parents are also looking for “emotional support to cope with the situation with their child” (82%) because they are struggling with their own emotions, feeling “anxious or worried” (also 82%).

The advice and information parents receive

62% of parents said they were guided to contact their GP or seek a specialist service

The most common output from contact with the helpline was for parents to receive guidance to contact their GP to ask for advice or seek a specialist service (reported by 62% of all parents). More than half of parents (58%) were given details of other organisations that might be able to help them, and a similar proportion received an information pack (57%).

How the Helpline makes a difference

The helpline is beneficial to a total 88% of those who use it.

Two-thirds of all parents (65%) agreed that a tangible positive change had happened following their contact with the helpline and 78% of all parents felt better after contacting the helpline. This rises to 89% of those who only received the frontline phone service, and 91% of those who received a call back. Three-quarters of all parents (77%) felt more informed after contacting the helpline, rising to 88% of those who received a call back.

In total, the helpline is beneficial to a total 88% of those who use it. This rises to 92% of those who only receive the frontline phone service (i.e. with email users removed), and 96% of those who receive a callback.

Thank you - the 50-minute call helped me to find the right people to help my child and gave me confidence to stand up for my, and my child’s rights.
Parent Helpline Caller

To find out more about the Parents Helpline and the evaluation of the service, you can download and read the report in full.

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