Remember… you’re not alone.
There are over a million young people in Australia who live with a parent who has a mental health issue.
We spoke to many young people in your situation about what they would have wanted to know when they were first getting their head around things, or what advice they would give to someone in their position. Here’s what they said…
- ‘It’s normal to feel confused about how to help your parent – or to feel responsible, even though you are not.
- ‘Know that knowledge and time will make it easier to manage.’
- ‘Remember it’s not your parent’s fault – and their behavior is because of an illness, not because of you. Remind yourself!’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Be careful when looking on the internet – lots of information on Google can be wrong. Go to a reliable website.’
- ‘Looking after you actually helps your parents. It’s one of the best things you can do for everyone.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Think about asking your teacher or your school for some support – it can really help!’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Remember you’re no different to anyone else – you just have a parent with a mental illness. And there are lots of us.’
- ‘Remember to be your own ‘best friend’ throughout it all.’
- ‘Look after yourself too. It’s important.’