‘When Mum or Dad is mentally ill’

Our Time has recently contributed to the latest Royal College of Psychiatry Insight magazine on how adult psychiatrists can do more to help the ‘hidden’ children caring for a parent with mental health issues.

The article, with input from both Our Time and RCPsych Fellow Dr Roswitha Dharampal, highlights the need for psychiatrists to ‘Think Family’ when assessing a patient. Dr Dharampal emphasised the need to ensure that they are included in contact and future plans for their parent.

“The child needs to be empowered with knowledge about their parent’s condition and also helped to become more resilient to cope. There is evidence that he or she could derive benefits from their caring role, when appropriately supported.”

Dr Roswitha Dharampal

With in excess of 3.8 million children and young people affected by parental mental illness according to the Children’s Commissioner for England, it is vital that all services in contact with families in these circumstances look beyond the patient and ensure that the whole family are considered and given the care and support they need.

You can read the full article in the latest edition of Insight magazine (Issue 10), available to download here.