Modern life placing stress on families: study

More than 1000 Illawarra parents sought professional support last year for stress and depression, a sign that hectic, modern-day lifestyles are taking their toll on families, a new study shows.

Parental depression and stress were the two most common reasons for parents to seek professional support from the CatholicCare Parent Line in 2012.

Depression, stress and mental health accounted for more than twice the number of calls about other family issues such as separation and adolescent development.

‘‘People really are feeling so overwhelmed by their busy lifestyles that in some cases they feel they can’t face another day,’’ Parent Line NSW manager Peter Carey said.

‘‘Modern life really is tough. We all have jobs, have families, differences of opinion with parenting issues – these things all stack up  and at times they really are overwhelming for a parent,’’ Mr Carey said.

MORE: Multi-tasking key to balancing life, says Illawarra mum

It was important Illawarra parents realised they were not alone.

‘‘We want parents in the Illawarra to know it’s never too late to learn different ways to handle stressful situations with their children, and no matter how difficult things get it’s possible to turn things around.’’

The ‘‘business of modern family life’’ had a cumulative effect on stress levels.

‘‘It might seem like something small that gets on top of you, but if it’s causing you anxiety then chances are you are not alone, someone else is out there struggling with the same pressure and it’s OK to ask for help.

‘‘There are people out there you can bounce ideas off, professionals ready to help.’’

The parent line averages  10,000 calls a year from NSW parents.

‘‘The Illawarra accounted for 10per cent of our calls last year so it’s good to see people are asking for help,’’ Mr Carey said.

If you need support, call the parent line on 1300130052.

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