The ‘Family Focus’ approach and DVD for parents

Around one million Australian children have a parent with depression and/or anxiety. These children have a higher risk of developing their own mental helath problems than their peers

The Family Focus DVD and intervention program promote family dialogue around these two common mental illnesses (depression and anxiety). Open family communication not only encourages family problem-solving, but has been proven to build both child and family resilience.

The Family Focus program is for mental health professionals including GPs, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers supporting parents with depression and anxiety. It consists of 3 stages:

1. Watch Family Focus DVD

Parents watch the complete Family Focus DVD, then the children’s video with their family. This acts as the parent’s cue to start talking about their own personal experience. Clinicians can order DVDs for their clients (available at no cost) from this page.

2.  In-clinic follow up

For many parents, the DVD is enough to start a family conversation about their illness. However some will need extra help. In a post-viewing consultation, the clinician can determine whether Family Focus intervention or further support is needed.

3. In-clinic intervention (optional)

For those that need further help there is an optional six to eight family sessions facilitated by a mental health professional trained in the Family Focus approach.

Access free online training now

The Family Focus course is:

  • accessible 24/7, is interactive, practical and engaging – making learning easier
  • free and provides elearning CPD points. 

Professional endorsement by:

  • ACRRM: 30 PRPD points. 
  • RACGP QI and CPD Program Category 1: 40 points.
  • GPMHSC Focused Psychological Strategies Continuing Professional Development (FPS CPD)
  • ACMHN: 1.5 CPE pts per module.


Members of Australian Psychological Society and Occuptational Therapists can accrue Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours by participating in CPD activities that they determine to be relevant to their individual professional skills, learning plans and goals. These may be self-initiated. CPD activities do not need to be endorsed by the APS or OT Australia.

Read more about the Family Focus eLearning course for professionals here.