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

Advice from other teens/young adults

Teens talking around talble

We spoke to teens living with parents who have a mental illness – about the best advice they would give other young people.

Here’s what they said... 




  • “Take it a day at a time.”
  • “Know that knowledge and time will make it easier to manage.”
  • “Remember to have time apart sometimes. Time out and a place to escape to can help."
  • “You don’t have to be perfect – you can show it when you’re struggling.”
  • “Don’t blame yourself.”
  • “Looking after you actually helps your parents.” 
  • “Think about what is important to you - what are your interests, what are your goals? Focus on these.” 

Teen guy talking, giving advice

  • “It’s normal to feel confused about how to help your parent – or to feel responsible, even though you are not.
  • “Focus on the good things. Surround yourself with positive people, positive thoughts - be optimistic.”
  • “You may feel alone or be struggling – but there is lots of help out there.”
  • “If you just call one person – you can find new pathways and a doorway to help.”
  • “Remember the experience is different for everyone.”
  • "You can feel very alone at times – and it’s hard to talk to people. But keep in touch with family and friends. Communication is important.”
  • "Accept your parent – they are still a person, just ‘unique’. They still have strengths.”
  • “Be careful when looking on the internet – lots of information on Google can be wrong. Go to a reliable site.”
  • “Don’t push yourself into drugs or anything that can lead down into a dark path.”
  • “Remember you’re no different to anyone else – you just have a parent with a mental illness. And there are lots of us.”

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