38 million people in Britain facing pressures on close family, as campaign launches to help families face their monsters

Three in four adults in Britain, almost 38 million people, say their close family is under pressure according to new research published today by national charity Family Action to mark its 150th anniversary and launch its Family Monsters Project to help families with everyday challenges.

The new research carried out for Family Action by ICM Unlimited shows that money, health and wellness, and quality time together are the main pressures on families in Britain today.  Six in ten people (61%) with family pressures, an estimated 24 million people, say specific things are making tackling these pressures more difficult, such as thinking other families need help more or not being sure who to ask for help.

Family Action is starting a national conversation about the everyday pressures on families or ‘family monsters’. The campaign aims to get these pressures out in the open and to stop family monsters from becoming overwhelming by helping families find ways to talk about and face their pressures together. Family Action has released a new short film bringing family monsters to life – go to www.familymonstersproject.com to watch and share it.

When asked about the common pressures in their close family the five most prevalent pressures people are willing to report are money  (52%), health  and wellness  (50%), lack of time together (49%), pressure from work or education (40%) and family relationships (37%). Lack of communication (19%) and arguments, feuds or disputes (16%) are the most common relationship problems reported.

An estimated 24 million people say specific things make it harder for them to deal with their main pressure on their close family. These include not being sure who could help (14%), feeling their family should be able to overcome pressures without external support (13%), their family living far away (13%) or not having services near where they live (6%).

Worryingly, many people say there are psychological barriers that are preventing them from getting help with their family monsters, including feeling other people need more support than them (12%), lack of confidence (11%), embarrassment (9%), feeling  scared  of being judged (9%), not thinking their family pressures will be taken seriously (6%) or not being ready to talk (7%).

When asked what they do personally about tackling their family monsters, an estimated 16 million people (42%) say they don’t do anything at all.

While most people want to do more about their family monsters in future, not everyone is sure what to do. The preferred option currently is to talk to someone (32%), but one in six (16%) people with family pressures say they would like to do something but don’t know what to do.

Family Action Chief Executive, David Holmes, CBE said:

“Every family will have its pressures. These monsters are with us every day, usually small and easy to deal with but at the worst times growing and becoming overwhelming, making daily life a struggle. We want to help families get these hidden monsters out in the open, as simply acknowledging and talking about our family monsters can often keep them small and under control.

“For 150 years Family Action has been helping families become stronger. To mark our 150th Anniversary we want to start a national conversation about family pressures, how normal they are and how best to manage them.  Every family  has its monsters, if we all recognise this and talk about them more, together we can build stronger families.

“From joining in the national conversation and sharing stories on social media, to visiting our family garden at RHS Chelsea or one of the hundreds of Family Monster Project picnics this summer, we’re creating opportunities for all families to get involved”

To find out how the Family Monsters Project is helping every family face their pressures go to www.familymonstersproject.com or follow #MyFamilyMonsters on social media.

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