When Alex Brown and her nine-year-old daughter Matilda began a business in May to help parents build their kids’ self-confidence, they found no classification existed to register such a company
Starting a business in lockdown to support children’s mental health revealed it to be a completely invisible sector, despite the severity of the crisis faced by children and young people. With publicly run services in this area so stretched, private-sector companies offering products for the support of children’s mental well-being should be encouraged to make up the shortfall – but currently, there is no recognition in this space.
In May 2020, when she registered the company Believer Achiever, it became evident that the category ‘children’s mental health’ does not exist within Companies House nor within Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TrustPilot – the list goes on.
Prior to Covid, 1 in 8 children had a diagnosable mental health disorder, according to 2018 research. Lockdown has compounded this issue. The long-term effects of the pandemic on the young in a post-Covid world is believed to be a ticking timebomb.
For consumers seeking support for their children, it is a difficult landscape to navigate. There are existing brands in this emerging category, such as The HappySelf Journal for mindfulness or Moshi Stories app for sleep, but while both sit under the banner of ‘children’s mental health’ they are not categorised as such.
Alex Brown, founder of Believer Achiever, says: ‘When my nine-year-old daughter’s anxiety was exacerbated in lockdown, I felt compelled to create a product idea I’d had long before Covid, which helps families to emotionally reconnect. My first stumbling block was what business category to register under, as ‘children’s mental health’ simply didn’t exist as a stand-alone classification.
‘I was shocked that this growing issue is not recognised more broadly in the private sector and surprised that the public sector was not making it a priority. There is an urgent need for better communication, not just at home to support our children but publicly acknowledging the enormity of this problem. Communication and action now are critical.’