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

Personal Stories

Sometimes there's small comfort knowing you're not alone in dealing with mental illness. 

Happy couple 

COPMI has collected some personal stories from parents, their children, and partners. Thank-you to everyone who has taken the time to submit their story and share their experiences.

As you read the stories, please be aware that these are people’s personal experiences of living with mental illness. They are intended to give you a glimpse into other people’s lives and to help people who have similar experiences recognise they are not alone. The stories should not be read as definitive descriptions of mental illness and are not intended to be for educational purposes.

In keeping with COPMI’s policy of valuing the lived experience of everyone living with mental illness the stories may have been edited for clarity but have not been censored.

Please be aware that the content of these stories may include descriptions of trauma or abuse. If you find that the content triggers an emotional response that you are unable to deal with, it is important to get support. You can call one of the services below:

  • Life Line on 13 11 14 (free from mobiles)
  • Kids Help Line on  1800 55 1800  (free call)
  • Mensline on  1300 789 978  (local call)

Dads' stories

  • Jai's story - A dad with tipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Neil's story - A dad’s experience with bipolar disorder
  • Nick's story - A dad’s experience with a traumatic brain injury
  • Mark's story - A ad talking about how important it is to get help and look after yourself

Mums' stories

  • Karen's story - The challenges of an incorrect diagnosis and eventual recovery from borderline personality disorder
  • Victoria's story - Learning from the lifelong impact of mental illness
  • D's story - Raising a child with physical and learning difficulties triggered D’s postnatal depression
  • Lee-Ann's story - A mother with post traumatic stress disorder
  • Amanda's story - A mother talking about recovery
  • Angela's story - A mother living with bipolar disorder
  • Mandy's story - Parenting whilst hearing voices
  • Amanda's story - This short booklet was written and illustrated by Amanda and her daughter Charlotte
  • Christine's story - This short booklet was written and illustrated by Christine together with her daughter

Partner's stories   

Adult children's stories

  • D's story - An adult child’s story about the impact of parental mental illness
  • Louise's story - An adult’s story about the impact of her parent’s mental illness
  • Shywolf's story - An adult with a mental illness

Kids and young people's stories


Need to talk to someone?

Are you a parent with depression or anxiety?

Help your family understand. Find out how to discuss mental illness with them.