August eNews 2016

In this edition


‘Family recovery’ webinar recording and practice paper now accessbile

Did you miss the ‘family recovery’ webinar in early August?

The webinar (a collaboration between Emerging Minds, through the COPMI national initiative, and Child Family Community Australia) focused on how practitioners can support recovery in families affected by a parent’s mental illness.

If you missed the webinar, you can access a recording of the event, including presentation slides:

To access the practice paper ‘Supporting recovery in families affected by parental mental illness’:

Can you share this information?

We encourage you to forward this webinar to any professionals you think could benefit.  


International and national leadership recognised in first ‘Ambassador Awards’

Emerging Minds has presented it’s first ‘Ambassador Awards’ to our international and national friends and colleagues at the Fifth International Conference on Families and Children with Parental Mental Health Challenges last week. The Awards were presented to collaborators from Canada, the Netherlands, Finland, USA, New Zealand and Australia to recognise their contributions in this area.

Phil Robinson, Chair of Emerging Minds, presented the Awards. He said; ‘The Awards honour the leadership, generosity and contributions of our local and international networks who have worked for many years to improve the outcomes for children and families where a parent experiences mental illness in Australia and abroad’.

The participants viewed a video that demonstrated the impact of their work and were then presented with an award and pin. Emerging Minds would once again like to thank our international and national collaborators for their continued support.

*Emerging Minds would also like to acknowledge Ties n Cuffs who designed and produced the pin and gifts that were presented to our Ambassadors.

Ambassador Award recipients and Emerging Minds/COPMI national initiative staff 

A review of the Fifth International Conference on Families and Children with Parental Mental Health Challenges

Emerging Minds Chair and Deputy Chair, Phil Robinson (on right) and Dr Nick Kowalenko (left), along with Emerging Minds & COPMI Director, Brad Morgan (centre), attended the International Conference on Families and Children with Parental Mental Health Challenges in Basel, Switzerland last week. The conference, attended by over 1500 participants, is the fifth in a series of international conferences that builds on the momentum generated from the inaugural ‘World COPMI Conference’ that was hosted by Emerging Minds in Adelaide during 2009.

The event presented a fantastic opportunity to connect with our international colleagues and reflect on how far we have progressed in supporting the mental health of children and families where a parent experiences mental illness. Emerging Minds was overwhelmed with the support of many government and organisational representatives from around the world who shared stories about how the Australian COPMI national initiative online resources have influenced change in their own region and are being used to support children, families and professionals.

Emerging Minds presentations

As part of the conference, Emerging Minds/COPMI presented on a number of topics, including:

  • ‘Promoting transgenerational mental health in tough times’: This workshop included presentations from Australia, the USA, Finland and the Netherlands on establishing, maintaining, adapting and moving forward with national initiatives in times of significant system and economic change.
  • ‘Creating the conditions to implement new approaches in practice’: This presentation provided an outline of the policy processes that led to the development of the COPMI national initiative and key strategies that have been applied over 15 years to support to systems change.
  • ‘Lived experience contributions to a national initiative’: Learnings from a partnership experience with our ‘Lived Experience Participation’ group have been an integral component of the COPMI national initiative’s work. This presentation shared the experience of a mother and community member on her seven+ year journey as a Lived Experience Representative with the COPMI national initiative.
  • ‘Strengthening workforce capacity to keep children and families in mind’: This presentation detailed the COPMI national initiative’s tiered implementation strategy for enhancing system, organisation and practitioner readiness to support children and families where a parent experiences mental illness.
  • ‘The COPMI website: supporting a national mental health promotion strategy’: This presentation provided an overview of the development, functions and content of the Australian COPMI national initiative website. The presentation also included outcomes of communication strategies that support the uptake and accessibility of resources and training in Australia.

Emerging Minds was also privileged to be part of a presentation with our Victorian colleagues who presented on the outcomes from their randomised control trial of the ‘Let’s Talk About Children’ method as a parent recovery intervention.

Congratulations also to researchers from the Monash University who presented on the evaluation of the COPMI national initiative’s booklet titled ‘When your parent has a mental illness’. The resource was designed for adolescents and used to support implementation of the ‘Let’s Talk About Children’ intervention.

Thank you to everyone that we had the opportunity to meet at the conference. It will be rewarding to continue to support this global movement that places children, parents and families at the centre of mental health.

More information on the conference

Emerging Minds/COPMI presenting at the conference


Supporting infants and toddlers of parents with mental illness

This is Fiona and Miguel and their two children, Sophia (two years old) and Nicolas (eight weeks old). They are a family featured on the ‘Supporting infants and toddlers of parents with mental illness’ eLearning course – for professionals working with parents who experience mental illness and have dependent infants or very young children.

The course is free and will help you to learn about how to talk to them about their parenting challenges and their children, including how to intervene to improve outcomes for the family. It builds on the original introductory-level course, ‘Keeping families and children in mind’.

The course covers:

  • The impact of mental illness on the family throughout the antenatal period
  • Attachment, infant and toddler development
  • Principles of sensitive communication with parents regarding the needs of their children
  • Strategies to provide support to families

Practical video demonstrations feature throughout the course that illustrate putting concepts into practice, and video interviews include reflections from parents and professionals.

Find out more or start the course below.

Access the course now

Can you share this information?

Please help to spread the word about this course with health professionals you think could benefit.


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