COPMI - Children of Parents with a Mental Illness - Keeping families in mind

How can I help my Mum or Dad?

Washing dishes


It might help to read this with an adult.

There’s lots you can do to help your Mum or Dad. But remember to look after you too!


Find out about their mental illness

Give them a break

  • If your Mum or Dad is having a bad day small things can help out.
  • Maybe clean your room without being asked.
  • Play with your brothers or sisters to give your parent a break.
  • Pick your Mum or Dad some flowers or make a cup of tea to show you care.
  • Check out things that can make you feel better and give you time out too.

Talk about things when your parent is well

  • You can ask them what you can do to help next time they feel bad.

When your parent is feeling bad

  • It can make you feel bad too.
  • Remember it is not your fault they feel bad - it is the mental illness.
  • If you are really worried, ask them to see their doctor.
  • Ask someone else to talk to them if you can't.
  • Remember you can always call Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) if you want to talk about anything!

Looking after yourself helps your parent

  • Remember to take time out to feel better.
  • Also remember to have fun! It’s good to get your mind off things sometimes.
  • Stick to the usual things you do - your parent wants you to keep going to school and playing with friends.

If you want more in-depth info go to the Teenagers/Young Adults section.


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