eNews August 2014

In this edition


Supporting infants and toddlers of parents with a mental illness

COPMI’s new introductory eLearning course 

The ‘Supporting infants and toddlers’ eLearning course has just been released. It is an introductory course produced for professionals working with parents experiencing mental illness with infants and young children. It extends the ‘Keeping Families and children in mind’ eLearning course.

The course content includes learning about:

  • the impact of mental illness on the family through the antenatal period
  • attachment and infant and toddler development
  • the principles of sensitive communication with parents regarding the needs of their children
  • strategies to support families.

Practical video demonstrations are included in the course to illustrate putting concepts into practice, plus video interviews with reflections from both parents and professionals.

>Find out more about the course here, or log in below.

Access the course now


To access all of the features you will require:

  • broadband internet access
  • an up to date version of your web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari)
  • flash player (download Adobe Flash Player for free here).


COPMI objectives to 2015

The COPMI national initiative has received an extension of funding from the Department of Health until June 2015. This funding will allow the COPMI team to continue their work to support children and families where a parent experiences mental illness.

Some of our projects

Over the coming months, COPMI will launch and promote several new resources for professionals, including new eLearning courses ‘Let’s talk about children‘ and ‘Supporting infants and toddlers of parents with a mental illness’.
This will include developing and promoting guidance materials and resources to help organisations working with parents experiencing mental illness. Some focus will also be given to scoping and developing support materials for general practitioners.

Parents, children and families will also be involved in the development of a range of new resources. This will include a refreshed COPMI website that will feature new educational videos for children and young people and resources to help parents strengthen child and family resilience. COPMI will also be following-up on recommendations made through the ‘Family-centred services’ project and workshop that occurred in 2013. 

This will include working with families to co-produce a number of new resources, including:

  • training materials to assist people with a lived experience of mental illness to strengthen local organisations’ awareness of resources to support parents experiencing mental illness and their children
  • guides to help parents promote a focus on family needs when accessing services
  • online information resources on ‘family recovery’ and what this means for families and children where a parent experiences mental illness.

COPMI will continue to work in partnership with our valued advisory groups, such as the COPMI National Lived Experience Forum (CNLEF), our National Reference Group, international collaborators and partners within the field regarding quality policy and service frameworks.

Family  Partnerships with people who have a lived experience of mental illness

The COPMI national initiative takes a collaborative approach to all of our projects in order to ensure what we develop is of the highest quality and useful to people who they are designed for. Our resources are based on research evidence and the lived experience of parents with a mental illness, their children, families, friends and supporters, including professionals who work with them.

The CNLEF is one of our highly valued advisory groups. This group of 10-12 individuals from around Australia who kindly offer their perspectives and experiences to help inform, strengthen and guide our work. We are in the process of reviewing applications for the 2014-15 CNLEF and hope to introduce you to new members in the next eNews.

Sharing what we’ve learned

COPMI’s partnership with people who have a lived experience of mental illness has existed for many years. We understand that their authentic and genuine involvement is vital to our objectives. We are continually learning from our lived experience partnerships about what we do well and how we can improve. To share our learnings to assist other organisations, we have a range of resources, including the below:

All of the information above can be conveniently accessed on the Participation strategies page of our website. 
Please forward the information to anyone you know who may benefit. 

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