eNews Feb 2016

In this edition


COPMI-related research news

The COPMI national initiative offers a research update designed specifically to help keep COPMI staff and other interested individuals informed about recent research and news relevant to children and families where a parent experiences mental illness. 

Please forward this page to any colleagues who could benefit from this research update.


Supporting infants and toddlers of parents with mental illness

The ‘Supporting infants and toddlers’ eLearning course is for professionals working with parents who experience mental illness and have dependent infants or very young children.

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.



Short videos help young people understand their parents’ mental illness

These short videos target young people aged ten years to young adulthood aim to strengthen understanding of their parents’ mental illness and how symptoms can affect their parents’ behaviour. 

A young person who was involved in developing these videos , who has a father diagnosed with bipolar disorder, helped to develop the videos with the COPMI national initiative. She says: ‘When I was searching for information about my parent’s mental illness, there wasn’t much available…I already felt isolated from my friends, and not being able to source reliable information compounded this feeling. On the odd occasion that I found videos about my parent’s mental illness, I couldn’t understand the jargon that was being used, which exacerbated my confusion. The COPMI videos change this.’   

About video content

The videos deliver accurate information about mental illness in short, engaging clips that are each under six minutes long. They are presented in simple language by young people that children can relate to.

The first videos address common questions, such as ‘what is a mental illness?’, ‘will my parent get better?’ and address the importance of taking care of your own wellbeing. Subsequent videos provide a description of six different diagnoses and symptoms. The videos were produced alongside young people with a lived experience of their parents’ mental illness and mental health professionals. They can either be viewed in isolation, or as a series.

Although the videos are aimed at young people, they can also be used by parents who may wish to start a conversation with their children about mental illness, by schools and by professionals who work with children and families.


Effective partnerships with people who have a lived experience of mental illness

The COPMI national initiative takes a collaborative approach to all projects in order to ensure that materials we develop are of the highest quality and useful to the people that 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, supporters and professionals who work with them.

The COPMI National Lived Experience Forum is one of our highly valued advisory groups of 10-12 individuals from around Australia. They kindly offer their perspectives and experiences to help inform, strengthen and guide our work. 

Sharing what we have learned

The COPMI national initiative’s partnership with people who have a lived experience of mental illness has existed for many years. We are continually learning from our lived experience partnerships about what we do well and how we can improve.

The following resources are available to share our learnings with other organisations:

All of the information above can be accessed on the ‘effective lived experience partnerships’ page of our website. Please share information with anyone you know who could benefit. 


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