The Family Focus DVD and complementary clinical intervention program promote family dialogue around these two common mental illnesses (depression and anxiety). Open family communication not only encourages family problem-solving, but has been proven to build both child and family resilience.
The Family Focus public health program is for mental health professionals including GPs, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers supporting parents with depression and anxiety. It consists of 3 stages:
Parents watch the complete Family Focus DVD, then the children's video with their family. This acts as the parent's cue to start talking about their own personal experience. Clinicians can order DVDs for their clients (available at no cost) from this page.
For many parents, the DVD is enough to start a family conversation about their illness. However some will need extra help. In a post-viewing consultation, the clinician can determine whether Family Focus intervention or further support is needed.
For those that need further help there is an optional six to eight family sessions facilitated by a mental health professional trained in the Family Focus approach.
The Family Focus course is:
Professional endorsement by:
Members of Australian Psychological Society and Occuptational Therapists can accrue Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours by participating in CPD activities that they determine to be relevant to their individual professional skills, learning plans and goals. These may be self-initiated. CPD activities do not need to be endorsed by the APS or OT Australia.
"Evidence shows programs like Family Focus can break the generational cycle to prevent the onset of mental illness in as many as four out of ten children."
Dr William Beardslee
Gardener Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School