Children of Parents with Mental Illness 2 looks at the insights and experiences of children and adults who have lived or grown up with parents with a mental illness.
The experiences highlight the need to think of all family members when a parent has a mental illness and identifies the needs of children to belong and have someone to talk to about their experiences. Complimenting these personal accounts are clinical chapters written by Australian practitioners with a rich and diverse range of experiences.
Some of the issues discussed include:
- The complex and inter-related scientific, social and ethical issues of the genetics of mental illness
- How different psychiatric disorders may affect infants
- How talking with children, to both allay anxiety and give age appropriate information, is an important component of working with parents with mental illness and their children
- The need to consider sensitively the roles and responsibilities an adolescent may have, while negotiating their own developmental issues
- Meeting the needs of children placed in long term care, their birth parents, and their caregiver family, along with the consideration of associated legal issues, rights issues, ethical and social issues
- The value of peer support programs for children and young people -- where they can realise they are not alone, and feel comfortable speaking with others who share their experiences
- Maintaining the dimensions of development and a family context in the provision of mental health care rather than abandoning these approaches in favour of those which are behaviourally focused and 'stripped of meaning and motives
This highly recommended text is a comprehensive and relevant resource for psychologists and social workers.