In this edition
- New evidence-based research summary
- Raising awareness of COPMI
- Resources for dads
- Schizophenia Awareness Week 2014
‘The Continuum of Need: Parental mental health is everyone’s responsibility’
COPMI has just published the latest ‘GEMS’ (Gateways to Evidence that MatterS) publication – a short, two-page summary of evidence-based research for professionals. The publication aims to assist in guiding work and highlighting current research and practice gaps.
The latest presents an approach based on a continuum of ‘need’ developed by Doctor Adrian Falkov. It highlights the importance of collaboration and coooperation between adult and child services and proposes the starting point should always be the location of children, parents and families along the continuum.
The COPMI national initiative collaborates with many people who have a lived experience of mental illness and family life and are passionate about using their experience to help others in similar situations. They do this in a variety of ways, such as being involved in COPMI resource development, sharing their stories at conferences, sitting on state and national planning committees, and an array of other ways.
Another important task undertaken by many people with lived experience is to raise the awareness of COPMI within their networks and communities. This is done with the support of COPMI, but all the work (from planning through to delivery of information sessions, coordination of events and staffing of booths) is done by people with lived experience. This is a powerful way to reach many workers, families and members of the general public. These individuals raise awareness about the needs of families where a parent experiences mental illness and share the information, training and resources that COPMI has available to support these families and the professionals who work with them.
We recently asked one of our lived experience representatives (Fred Ford) about the work he does to raise awareness for COPMI. We want to thank Fred (and all of our lived experience collaborators) for the time, effort and hard work they contribute to share the COPMI message with others.
Did you know that COPMI feature information just for dads on our website?
To help support dads who are experiencing mental health problems (or have a partner experiencing mental health problems), the COPMI website offers a section with information, videos and fact sheets about how to parent well when you (or your partner) are unwell.
Here’s what you’ll find:
- Parenting: Being a dad
- Understanding and managing mental illness
- Looking after yourself
- Supporting your child
- Personal stories
Please share this information with anyone who you think could benefit, including mums who could share the information with their partners.
The suggestions, information and advice in the dads section was developed under the guidance of dads and their family members who have a lived experience of mental illness and who COPMI would like to acknowledge and thank.
This week is Schizophrenia Awareness Week in Australia (12 to 18 May). It’s a special annual awareness week that provides an opportunity to raise awareness about schizophrenia and the experiences of individuals and families.
More than 230,000 Australians currently have schizophrenia. Up to a million Australian are now involved as carers of someone with schizophrenia (and many of these are young carers). See the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia’s press release for more information.
In the meantime, you can take a minute to increase your own understanding about the experiences of individuals and families who live with schizophrenia:
- Read the facts about schizophrenia provided at the SANE Australia website.
- Watch this short video about young carers’ experiences.
If you are caring for someone with a mental health issue and want information about services that may help you, please contact MiNetworks – it’s a free call on 1800 985 944.
This week, let’s all take the time to learn something more about this common but seldom discussed mental illness. By understanding we can help to fight stigma and improve the lives of people who experience schizophrenia and their families.