‘Family Focus’ videos – for parents and young people

Many parents who experience depression or anxiety worry about whether they should talk with their children about their illness and how much they should say.

The fact is that symptoms of depression or anxiety can influence how you think, feel, act and communicate. Other family members (particularly children) can be confused with what they see and hear. In the case of young people, they may not understand what’s happening, and may make up their own reasons for your behaviour.

Talking about mental illness as a family can help everyone make sense of what’s going on. In fact, research has proven that open family discussion bolsters family strength and also build a child’s resilience to developing mental health problems of their own.

For this reason, the COPMI national initiative have developed these ‘Family Focus’ videos to help you start the conversation about depression and anxiety with your child and family.

Parents with a mental illness should follow three steps to viewing these videos:

1. Watch the ‘parents’ video alone first (See footage below)
This will help you prepare for talking to your family about your illness. Discuss it with your partner.

 2. Watch the children’s video as a family (See footage below)
This is an intuitive way to start the family discussion about your illness.
Please note that the emotional footage is not intended for your children to view alone. It’s important that you be there to supervise any reactions.

3. Talk about how it applies to your family
Start by asking your children a simple question to introduce discussion, like ‘How did you feel watching the video?’ or ‘What did you learn by watching the video?’.

More about how to talk about mental illness with your child, including starting the conversation and talking to different age groups.

View videos

Part 1 – for parents only:

Part 2 – for children/young people with adult supervision:

Download Free COPMI Resources

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