ItemPatients. Parents. People. Towards integrated supports and services for families experiencing mental health difficulties.(Barnardos) BarnardosIn recent years pressures on parents have increased, with austerity budgets cutting child support payments and increasing costs. Barnardos has more than 40 services across the country and staff are reporting that poor mental health among parents is increasing in prevalence. Barnardos staff are also finding that when a parent experiences a mental health difficulty and they are not adequately supported or are receiving inappropriate treatment, their children can be affected. These reports prompted Barnardos to examine the issue of mental health specifically in relation to parents to try and identify ways in which approaches and supports can be improved. In the majority of cases Barnardos encounters, parents are experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress and hopelessness. There is a proven link between poverty and poor mental health and often the parent’s life circumstances are at the root of these feelings and exacerbating them. Staff also found that very few parents have adequate support for their mental health difficulty.