More than 80% of those battling with their mental health reported a sustained improvement in their condition after receiving a break from the Family Holiday Association (FHA).
The figure was among a number of statistics demonstrating the “enduring positive benefits” of the charity’s trips to families.
In the first study of its kind, the FHA received responses from liaison workers for 150 families, six to 14 months after taking a UK short break, to gauge improvements in isolation, mental wellbeing and poor school attendance.
Some 83% of families impacted by mental health issues saw an improvement, while 84% of families said they were less isolated and more able to engage in their communities. Meanwhile, 62% of families said they now do more together than before.
Comments from liaisons and professionals working with families described children being happier and having stories to share of their trip, which made them more likely to attend school.
John Kinnear, head of programmes at the FHA, said: “At the Family Holiday Association we believe that increasing access to tourism opportunities can have real and significant benefits for struggling families.
“It can help professionals and the families they support to build positive relationships that result in better outcomes for families, such as increased school attendance and willingness to seek help.
“We believe that these preliminary findings warrant further study. At a time of stretched public services, access to tourism should be considered alongside other types of social prescribing as a relatively low cost and simple intervention that has tangible and sustainable benefits for families.”