PARENTS blaming themselves for their child's mental health problems has emerged as one of the most common reason for them not seeking proper support, research has revealed.

A University of Reading study showed an overwhelming majority of parents heap blame on themselves if their children struggle with mental health.

Scores of parents admitted they did not get professional help for their children because they thought they were at fault.

One mum said: "Even from then, these small minor things affected me, that parent guilt of him looking so sad when I wasn’t around.

"I blamed myself thinking that I wasn’t parenting correctly as I would see other parents coping so well with their kids.

"Why was mine like this? I would turn up at work in tears most mornings, feeling worried and guilty.”

The study into barriers to accessing mental health for youngsters also showed parents worried professionals would dismiss their parenting efforts.

Others revealed they did not know where to go for help.

Tessa Reardon, who led the research, added: "Growing numbers of children and young people experience mental health problems, but only a small number of these young people receive professional help.

"This research highlights the many difficulties parents face accessing professional help for mental health problems in children and teenagers - and by doing so also highlights the key improvements and interventions that are needed to help ensure more young people who experience mental health problems receive the help they need.

“A concerning finding highlights how frequently parents feel blamed for their children’s difficulties and how important it is to remove this stigma to enable parents to access support for their children with mental health problems.”