eNews July 2016

In this edition


Fifth International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges

The Fifth International Conference on Families with Parental Mental Health Challenges will be held in Basel, Switzerland from 17–19 August, 2016. The conference, titled ‘Transgenerational Mental Health’, will focus on the family as a whole and across generations focussing on the impact of parental mental illness on child, adolescent and adult offspring.

It is pleasing to see Australia’s leadership in this area recognised with many Australian researchers, practitioners and lived experience perspectives featured in the conference program. Emerging Minds will also be presenting at the conference in partnership with our national and international collaborators on the history and work of the Australian COPMI national initiative.

Interested in meeting us?

International organisations- are you interested in meeting with us to learn more about the resources and strategies of the Australian COPMI initiative?

Following requests from a number of international organisations, Phil Robinson (Chair, Board of Directors) and Brad Morgan (Director) will be available for meetings to discuss options for engaging with us to improve outcomes for children and families where a parent has a mental illness in your region.


New evidence-based research summary on ‘family recovery’

The latest ‘GEMS’ (Gateway to Evidence that Matters) publication has just been released. It is a short, two-page summary of evidence regarding ‘family recovery’ where a parent experiences mental illness.

The paper covers key themes in family recovery literature and then examines clinical implications that follow on from this literature.

We encourage you to share this information with colleagues or other interested parties.


Strengthening your child’s support network

Having access to supportive relationships can help a child to thrive. These relationships can also help parents and strengthen the whole family when a parent experiences mental illness.

The ‘My child’s support network’ guide has been developed in partnership with parents who live with a mental illness, their children and supporters. It aims to help parents think about the relationships in their child’s life and ways to strengthen these to support their child and family.

Use of the guide

The guide is designed to be used separately for each child in the family. The three steps include:

  • Step 1: Identify the closest relationships in a child’s life.
  • Step 2: Consider the role of each of these relationships in a child’s life and how these connections could be strengthened so that they can be used in tough times or during times of major change.
  • Step 3: Offer the child the ‘My connections’ worksheet to help them identify the people in their life that they feel comfortable to contact if they need or want to. Invite them to keep the completed worksheet in a safe place.

Access the guide now


Keeping Families and Children in Mind – eLearning course  

On the left, meet Julie Hamilton (a mum who experiences bipolar disorder), her son Jaxon (4 years) and daughter Chloe (14 years). They are one of the fictional families that are featured in COPMI’s Keeping Families and Children in Mind eLearning course.

This free online training assists learners to use a ‘family focus’ when working with families where a parent has a mental illness. The course is a result of extensive consultation with professionals and people who have a lived experience of mental illness and parenting, including young people, carers and partners.

The course was designed for mental health workers and other allied workers (such as mental health nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, general practitioners and other workers). The general public are also welcome to use it.

Course participants typically take six to ten hours in total to complete the course (including viewing the videos and completing the required assessments). There are six learning modules that cover ‘mental health and families’, ‘the parent’, ‘the child’, ‘the family’, ‘carers’ and ‘putting skills into practice’ in the workplace.

Benefits of the course

There are numerous benefits to taking the course. The course is:

  • interactive, practical and engaging – making learning easier
  • delivers up to date, evidence-based content and information
  • presents the lived experience of children and families where a parent experiences mental illness
  • presents the views of leading professionals in the field
  • features two fictional, realistic families for workers to try out new approaches
  • available 24/7 – go at your own pace, at any time
  • endorsed by many professional associations for continuing professional development points
  • free!

Multiple uses

The course was designed for solo use and also for use within a group training setting. It focuses on the practical and achievable ways to incorporate a family focus into practice in most workplace settings. It is also a valuable resource for a range of educators and others in the community who work with families where a parent has a mental illness or mental health condition.


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