No matter what your role, supporting children is everyone’s responsibility
Nearly a quarter of Australia’s children have a parent with a mental illness.
It is now accepted that most (if not all) professionals will come across families where a parent experiences mental illness in the course of their work.
Everyone has a role in supporting the needs of children and families where a parent has a mental illness. This is why identifying parents and supporting their children is central to many national policies and guidelines and highlighted as ‘everyone’s responsibility’ (The National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children, 2009-2020).
To help achieve this, we have developed a range of resources that can improve your readiness to support parents and families. To get started, we recommend that you look at the resources designed specifically for your work setting.
Discover how you can help (select your work setting below)
- General practice
- Community mental health services
- Inpatient mental health services
- Youth and community
- Child protection
- Child and family health
- Family law
- Early childhood
- Emergency services
You can also undertake relevant training and personal development activities, including COPMI’s free, interactive eLearning courses.
When you’re ready to investigate further, you can discover:
- Evidence-based information and research
- A list of relevant national and state policies and frameworks
- Guidance on implementing new practices. (Contact the COPMI office for more information).
The paper Supporting recovery in families affected by parental mental illness outlines ways in which practitioners can support healing and recovery in families affected by parental mental illness. In particular, this paper encourages practitioners to:
- understand that recovery occurs in a family context
- focus on strengthening parent-child relationships
- support families to identify what recovery means for them
- acknowledge and build on family strengths, while recognising vulnerabilities
- assist family members to better understand, and communicate about, mental illness, and
- link families into their communities and other resources.