In this edition
- COPMI support in practice – a primary school example
- Order free COPMI materials for the new year
- Strengthen child and family resilience – through this evidence-based intervention
- Victoria’s story
The COPMI national initiatve asked Australian schools to share how they support children when their parent (or parents) experience mental illness.
Read about Woori Yallock Primary School, who share their strategies, challenges and successes. We hope that this information provides some inspiration and ideas to other schools who can emulate their great work.
The school also shares outcomes and their observations after implementing two school-based programs that are designed to support children and families where a parent has a mental illness; The Supporting Kids in Primary School (SKIPS) program and the Martial Arts as Therapy (AT) program.
- Read about the SKIPS and MAT programs at Woori Yallock Primary School
Our thanks go to Andre Campbell, Veronica Tirchett and all staff at the Woori Yallock Primary School for sharing this information and setting a terrific example to other school environments.
Professionals in mental health and allied health areas: You may like to prepare for the new year by stocking up on copies of COPMI materials for your workplace.
We offer these materials free of charge, so that you can provide them to parents with mental illness, families, carers and supporters. Some materials can also be used to support your operations (such as the checklists below). Download immediately, or order paper copies.
Available resources include:
- Free DVD for parents with depression/anxiety – to help parents talk with their children about depression/anxiety.
- Information sheets on talking about mental illness with children – for different age groups.
- Care plan templates – for ‘Baby’, ‘Kids & Young People’ and ‘Family’ situations.
- Checklists – for inpatient and community mental health services.
- Various booklets – for parents living with mental illness, their partners and families.
- Flyers and posters – to point partners, young people, families and professionals to resources at the COPMI website.
Order your copies now
- Order paper copy materials – with free delivery within Australia
- Download translated booklets – available in seven languages.
Professionals – do you work with parents who experience depression or anxiety?
The COPMI national initiative’s ‘Family Focus’ is an evidence-based mental health intervention for parents and families, modelled on the work of world-leading child mental health expert, Dr William Beardslee.
This family intervention involves a series of meetings between the parent, child and the family as a whole, to help them understand and communicate about the child’s experience their parent’s mental illness. It also supports the family to make plans to strengthen their child’s social and emotional wellbeing.
Free training in the intervention is available:
Complementary Family Focus DVD for parents and children
The intervention is complemented by the Family Focus DVD, which features engaging fictional scenarios of a family where the father experiences depression, and another family where the mother experiences anxiety. There is a section for parents to view first, followed by a section specifically for children to view with their parent.
The DVD is designed to encourage and empower parents to begin conversations with their children about mental illness. It can be used as a stand-alone resource for parents, or as a starting point before undertaking the Family Focus intervention.
Ready to start training?
An adult reflects on her experience of growing up with mental illness
Victoria is an adult who grew up with a mother who experienced mental illness. Now in her 40s and a mother herself, she has just written her account of the lifelong impact of parental mental illness, and what she has learned.
Our sincere thanks go to Victoria for her courage and honesty in sharing her story. We hope it will benefit other people with lived experience and health professionals alike.
Note: As you read this story, please be aware that it is one person’s personal experience of living with mental illness. Stories of lived experience are shared by COPMI in order to give you a glimpse into other people’s lives and to help people who have similar experiences recognise that they are not alone. These stories should not be read as definitive descriptions of mental illness and are not intended to be for educational purposes.