“The world is no longer such as dark and frightening place. I feel that Our Time has saved my life.”
– Joel, ‘Who Cares?’ programme participant
We know that young people who have a parent or carer with a mental illness can face major life challenges. Research shows, without intervention, there’s a 70% chance of a young person developing mental health problems, with 40% requiring treatment by the age of 20. It’s also not uncommon for them to experience isolation, fear, shame or underachievement whilst at school or college, and reduced employment prospects later in life.
Over the last eight years, Our Time has worked to support thousands of children, young people and families affected by parental mental illness. We’re working with educators, health professionals, and community workshop leaders to help young people build their strength and understanding, connect with others, and confront the problems they face. This support not only helps them to cope better with their day-to-day lives, but also aims to prevent them developing mental health problems themselves.
We have established workshops throughout England and Wales which support hundreds of people each year. These workshops give young participants the opportunity to discuss and learn about their parent’s illness in a safe and inclusive space, and provide time for them to enjoy themselves, meet up with friends and share their experiences. We also have trained teams in Germany and Spain, and a new team in Austria for 2018. Discussions are underway in the Republic of Ireland too for 2018/19.
Underpinning all of this work, is Our Time’s commitment to campaigning and lobbying for the cause.
The Mental Health Foundation forecasts that by 2030 there will be 2 million more adults in the UK with mental health issues. Of these, 68% of women and 57% of men are projected to become parents, meaning our expertise and services have never been so vital.
Research taken from Surviving or Thriving – The state of the UK’s mental health, 2017