eNews September 2013

In this edition



New evidence-based research summary

‘Help-seeking for young people with mental health problems in families with a parent who experiences a mental illness’

COPMI has just published the latest ‘GEMS’ (Gateways to Evidence that MatterS) – a short, two-page summary of evidence-based research for professionals. The publication is designed to assist in guiding work and highlighting current research and practice gaps.

The latest paper looks at help-seeking for young people with mental health problems in families where a parent also experiences a mental illness. View ‘quick facts’ on the side of the research article for an ultra-brief summary of the research and recommendations.


Winner of COPMI’s kid’s bike competition

A big congratulations to Kascha!

Kascha was just one of the children who participated in the ‘win a bike with COPMI’ competition. We asked children with parents who have a mental illness send us a photo of themselves doing something that helps them to ‘relax’ as their entry.

Our randomly-drawn winner, Kascha, said she likes to spend time at her Grandma’s place where they relax together with cucumber face masks; (that’s Kesha with cucumber on her eyes above!).

A huge thank you to the Cell Bike Team and Tigi Australia for their generosity in providing the competition prize.


Talking to your child’s school

COPMI has recently added a new page of content to the ‘Parents & Families’ information, following feedback from many parents who stated that they would like guidance on how to approach their child’s school to discuss their mental health.

Talking to your child’s school and informing them about your mental health isn’t right for everyone, however it’s worth considering the benefits to your child and family. We cover why it can be a good idea, and things that other parents and mental health professionals have suggested considering if you approach the school; what is helpful to tell them, and what you can ask them to tell you.

We encourage you to share this information with other parents through your networks.



COPMI workshop at TheMHS Conference

Over 80 people recently gathered in Melbourne to attend a COPMI workshop on ‘Family Centred Services’ that was presented by the COPMI National Lived Experience Forum members (CNLEF) as part of The Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference 2013. COPMI sponsored 13 people to attend the event from locations around Australia who would otherwise not have been able to attend.

Participants heard from a range of guest speakers who themselves have lived experience of parental mental illness, about the challenges faced by families where there’s parental mental illness and the need for family-centred practice that recognises and supports family recovery.  Enablers and barriers for family-centred practice were also identified across systems, the workforce and families. These outcomes will be presented in a report later this year.

Attendees were unanimous in their appreciation of the workshop:

“It certainly has changed some of the ways I talk to my children about my own mental illnesses and has inspired me to take a more proactive stance on how to minimise the impact that it has on my children” – Jai, parent with mental illness.

“I will be able to take the experience I gained into my work in the mental health sector with the knowledge that supporting a person with a mental illness is only a part of the process of helping recovery” – Tom, community health worker.

A big thank you from COPMI’s Lived Experience Coordinator Fiona Telford-Sharp to retired COPMI Director Elizabeth Fudge and the workshop’s Organising Committee; John Clark, Jane Grace, Louise Salmon, and Kerry Hawkins. We are much obliged to speakers Rose Cuff, Brooke Carroll, Amanda Waegeli and Cathie Knox.

Thank you also to the CNLEF members who flew in the day before the workshop to attend a face-to-face Forum meeting. As always, we appreciate your wonderful contributions and participation!


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