We know that children of parents with a mental illness face unique challenges, and it’s vital for them to have specific support that targets their needs. They often don’t talk about their home life, the pressure they’re under, or worries surrounding their parent’s welfare. It can be a difficult role for a child to take on, affecting their education, social life, mental health and confidence. But we see a different future for these young people, where they are resilient and thriving.
The change we need…
We want the government to fund specific support for children of parents with a mental illness and require local authorities to provide this support.
We also want there to be a requirement for relevant professionals to make referrals where a need is identified.
Around one in three children have a parent with poor mental health, and these children are three times more likely to develop a mental health difficulty themselves. Growing up with mental illness in the family is also recognised as a key risk factor for vulnerability and harm. Yet these children receive no specific support that targets the unique adversities they face.
Early, preventative help for these young people could avoid costly crisis intervention at a later stage, and break this cycle of vulnerability.