Over a million Australian children have at least one parent with a mental illness. These children may face many challenges. A range of factors associated with families where a parent experiences mental illness can have a negative impact on a child’s development and wellbeing.
The COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) national initiative develops information for parents, their partners, carers, family and friends in support of these children. This information complements online training courses developed by COPMI for professionals to support families either individually or through community services and programs.
This website is the primary way our information is accessed. We also work with health care providers, community support groups, educators, service organisations and the media.
Our information is designed to foster better mental health outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness, reduce stigma associated with parental mental illness and help friends, family and workers in a range of settings identify and respond to the needs of the children and their families where parental mental illness exists.
COPMI resources are developed under the guidance of people who share the experience of living in families where mental illness is a part of family life, and of leading researchers and service providers in the mental health field.
The COPMI national initiative is run by a small team employed by not-for-profit organisation AICAFMHA (the Australian Infant, Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health Association). We are advised by a National Reference Group comprised of professionals from the fields of mental health, academia, community services and policy development.
The Reference Group also includes representatives of another core advisory group, the National Lived Experience Forum, which is made of up members who are parents living with a mental illness (‘consumers’) and their carers (e.g. partners, parents and children).
COPMI reports to the AICAFMHA Board who report on COPMI outcomes to the Australian Government’s Department of Health and Ageing. The COPMI initiative is funded by the Australian Government.