A survey covering more than 1,000 families with disabled children has found that nearly three-quarters of them suffer from anxiety, depression or have had a nervous breakdown.

These alarming findings from The Contact A Family (CAF) survey, suggested that more than half of these problems were the result of a lack of support for parents of disabled children with most saying they felt "alone, isolated and stigmatised".

CAF chief executive Srabani Sen said: "Isolation is having a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of some of society's most vulnerable families.

"We are extremely concerned that this is going to get worse in the current economic climate and families are fearful about this situation [too], which will lead to further stress, isolation and poor mental health."

The charity now hopes to use the results of the survey to put pressure on local authorities to provide more early intervention strategies such as key workers, children's centres and short breaks, all of which have been put at risk by planned welfare reform changes.

Their campaign has gained the support of Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon, whose brother has cerebral palsy. "I understand how easy it can be for close family members of a disabled child to feel isolated and alone - not because there aren't enough people around, but because no one you know can relate to your experience," she said.

"Contact a Family provide a life line for families [with disabled children] so I'm delighted to support the charity as it aims to raise awareness of the very real issues, like isolation, faced by families of the 770,000 disabled children in the UK."



Read the full report here. http://www.cafamily.org.uk/pdfs/isolationreport.pdf
Posted 07/12/11 by richard.hook@pavpub.com