Our work

Over a million Australian children have at least one parent with a mental illness and may face a range of challenges. The COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) national initiative was a program of Emerging Minds and funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health between 2001 and 2017.  

COPMI developed information for children, young people, parents, and their family and friends about parents and parenting with a mental illness to support the wellbeing of children and young people. This information complemented online training courses for professionals to support families either individually or through community services and programs. 

COPMI resources were developed under the guidance of people who share the experience of living in families where parental mental illness is a part of family life, and of leading researchers and service providers in the mental health field. 

In 2015 the Australian Government Response to Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities – Review of Mental Health Programmes document was released, and recommended reforms in the commissioning and planning of mental health services and programs in Australia. 

A key action was the formation of the Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health (NWC) as a way to move away from multiple programs to a single entry point for professionals working with children, parents and families in the health, social and community sectors.  

In June 2017 funding for the COPMI national initiative officially concluded and five months later the NWC was launched. These days Emerging Minds and our delivery partners produce a range of information and tools for practitioners related to supporting infant and child mental health in their work with children, parents and families. Visit our ever-growing resource hub for over 1,000 free resources that cover a range of topics, including:  

  • Parental mental illness 
  • Children of parents with a mental illness 
  • Trauma 
  • Natural disasters 
  • Family domestic violence 
  • Substance use 
  • Infant and toddler mental health 
  • Child mental health 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing 
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences 
  • Bullying 
  • Child development 
  • and much more. 

Our online learning courses are accessed by over 70,000 users and we also have a comprehensive range of practice papers, podcasts, animations, videos, fact sheets and more. This means that no matter how much, or how little, time a practitioner may have there is always information that fits their needs. 

Our other major project, Emerging Minds Families, further builds on COPMI’s legacy by working together with families and professionals and drawing on the latest research to produce practical information to help parents and carers support infant and child mental health and wellbeing. 

All our resources are available freely on the Emerging Minds website. 

Emerging Minds leads the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health (NWC). The NWC is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program. 

Read about our history


Download Free COPMI Resources

For use by families where a parent has a mental illness, their supporters, and services who work with them.