eNews June 2014

 In this edition



COPMI’s lived experience partnerships

At the heart of the COPMI national initiative’s projects is a commitment to strong relationships with people who have a lived experience of mental illness and family life. Their input across all areas of our work ensures that the COPMI team can consistently deliver high quality, relevant and effective resources.

Last month, the final face-to-face meeting of the 2012-2014 COPMI National Lived Experience Forum (CNLEF) was held in Adelaide. The CNLEF consists of people who work with us and offer a broad range of perspectives and experiences about mental illness and families. They include parents who experience mental illness, their partners and carers, young people and also adult children of parents living with mental illness.

The role of the CNLEF is to:

  • Inform and advise the COPMI team on lived experience perspectives across all areas of the COPMI national initiative.
  • Be a conduit for information-sharing and gathering across networks to promote the COPMI national initiative.
  • Be a model of excellence in lived experience collaboration, inclusion and partnerships, in the dialogue around issues related to children of parents with a mental illness.

Forum members experiences

The CNLEF has been meeting regularly both face-to-face and via teleconference over the past two years. At the most recent meeting, members were asked to evaluate their experience of participation in this group. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and included some constructive ideas regarding future partnerships with lived experience representatives.

Comments from Forum members included:

  • ‘I’ve said it before – a marvellous responsive organisation that punches way above its weight. I do have a sense of partnership among all members of COPMI, with the community and other stakeholders. I am a fan.’
  • ‘I’ve loved it and I hope I have made a valuable contribution. Very worthwhile experience and great organisation to be involved with.’
  • ‘Strengthening, healing, validating – fabulous.’

Thank you to our CNLEF members

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the CNLEF members for their outstanding contributions to a variety of COPMI projects over the last two years and the valuable role they have played in helping us to promote better mental health outcomes for children of parents experiencing mental illness.

Professionals – want to know more?

If you are a professional or organisation and would like to learn more about lived experience partnerships and how they may benefit your workplace, please visit our page on participation strategies. It provides information about how to effectively involve people with lived experience of mental illness in your work and includes checklists and guidelines, videos and information on policies and standards.


New information encourages help-seeking in young people

The COPMI national initiative recognises the importance of encouraging young people with a parent who experiences mental illness to seek help when they need it. As a result, we have developed new information for parents, teenagers and professionals (including schools) regarding how to enhance help-seeking skills in youth.

Input regarding this information was provided by young people with parents who experience mental illness, professional organisations and those who work directly with young people. Based on their advice, the help-seeking information below was developed, including fact sheets for different audiences.

We encourage you to share these links as widely as possible. 

New website pages:

For parents:

For professionals: 

For teenagers:

For secondary schools:

Evidence-based research on help-seeking

Professionals may also be interested in reading the GEMS (‘Gateway to Evidence that Matters’) evidence-based research summary that the COPMI national initiative produced on help-seeking amongst young people.


Launch of new eLearning course in July

Highly-anticipated online training in the ‘Let’s Talk About Children’ method (Let’s Talk) will be launched in July. 

Designed for adult mental health professionals, the course provides training in a brief and structured discussion with parents who experience mental illness. It allows them to discuss parenting, the wellbeing and development of their child and how their mental illness is understood by them.

The Let’s Talk course includes practical video demonstrations, implementation guides plus video reflections from parents and professionals who have participated in the intervention. The course also includes a booklet for parents to take home offering ideas and strategies about how to strengthen resilience in their child and family, and a booklet for teenagers that parents can choose to share with children aged 12 to 15 years. 

See a ‘sneak peak’ of the booklets below, which will be available to order in hard copy by Let’s Talk or Family Focus trained professionals from next month.

Booklet for parents:

Booklet for young people aged 12 to 15 years:

COPMI’s July edition of the eNews email will provide details about how to access the course and how to order hard copies of the booklets. 


Scholarship recipients

Scholarship recipients to investigate best-practice COPMI programs

COPMI Workforce Development staff (and Mental Health Nurses) Diane Becker and Tracy Semmler-Booth were awarded the Premier’s Nursing Scholarship in South Australia. The Scholarship recognises their professional commitment to excellence in practice in the nursing and midwifery field.

The COPMI national initiative congratulates the duo, who will travel to the Netherlands, Finland and Belgium on the Scholarship, exploring best-practice mental health programs that support children of parents with a mental illness in these regions. Diane and Tracy intend to use their findings to inform potential strategies that could be applied in the Australian context.    






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