Guiding Australian organisations and individuals

A number of policies and pieces of legislation provide guidance to Australian organisations and individuals regarding the rights, needs and responsibilities of services to support:

  • children of parents with a mental illness
  • the parenting role of individuals experiencing mental illness
  • carers and support people of parents with a mental illness.

The following are links to relevant policies and frameworks in Australia.



International Policy

As stated in the document:

Children’s rights

Every child has the right to:

  • the protection, support and care necessary for their wellbeing
  • participate and be heard in discussions and decisions that will affect them (when they are capable of forming their own views)
  • be brought up by their own family unless it is contrary to the child’s best interest
  • maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child’s best interest
  • education and information which is linguistically, culturally, psychologically and developmentally appropriate (especially that which will promote his or her social, spiritual, psysical and mental health)
  • the highest attainable standards of health
  • a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development
  • rest, leisure, play and recreation.

Parents and families’ rights, responsibilities, roles and diversity

  • Parents (or, where applicable, the members of the extended family, other carers or legal guardians) have strengths, responsibilities, rights and duties in the upbringing and development of their children.
  • Parental and family mental health and wellbeing are significant determinants of children’s health and wellbeing.
  • Australian families are diverse, with unique physical, psychological, emotional, social, cultural, linguistic and spiritual dimensions, and their own networks and family and community identify. Families have a right to support and care that is responsive to their continuing and differing needs.
  • Families and their members have a right to privacy.

Rights and responsiblities of people with mental illness

As stated in this document, individuals seeking promotion or enhancement of mental health or care and protection when affected by a mental illness have rights and responsiblities. (See Australia’s equivalent – the ‘Mental health statement of rights and responsibilities’ above).

Download Free COPMI Resources

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