This summer, Our Time undertook a research project into the needs of families impacted by parental mental illness in Newham and Tower Hamlets.
Local stakeholders and families were approached to give their views, culminating in a focus group with families in Tower Hamlets, and a large stakeholder workshop in Newham attended by over 50 professionals and practitioners working with families across the various sectors and local agencies.
The research findings affirmed that there was a lack of support and provision for young carers of parents with mental illness locally, and stakeholders and families identified the following things as key to making a difference for families in this situation:
- Specific support / provision for families impacted by parental mental illness – an open and flexible approach was identified as key;
- Whole-family working – to address the impact of parental mental illness and find solutions;
- Awareness-raising and training for front-line professionals and practitioners, so that they can identify and support children of parents with a mental illness;
- Multi-disciplinary teams with the knowledge and skills to work directly with families where a parent has a mental illness;
- Engagement of different faith and community groups to help break down the cultural barriers surrounding mental illness.
The research findings have been published in the report which is available to read here:
As a result of this project, Our Time has been able to use this evidence to make an application to the Young Londoners Fund for an Our Time project in these boroughs, and we are awaiting the outcome.