Explaining why a parent is in hospital
It can be challenging for children and young people to understand their parents’ mental health problems and why they are in hospital.
The booklets below have been created by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation to give children and young people clear and simple explanations about mental illness.
The booklets were piloted with patients, child and adolescent mental health service professionals, children, families, social services, teachers and young carers at Our Time.
The booklets are free to circulate, download and print by individuals, agencies, or professional groups such as social services and schools. The booklets can be accessed on South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation website or below.“
Sammy Bear’s mummy is in hospital (age 3-6 and below)
Sammy bear is left feeling sad when his mum goes to hospital, so his uncle bear explains to him why and that his mummy still cares very much.
A sweet-natured rhyming story for children aged 3–6 to be read with an adult.
Sally Bear’s daddy is in hospital (age 3-6 and below)
Sally bear’s father has gone to hospital after saying strange things and seeming very sad, her mummy bear sits her down to explain why he’s ill and when they’ll see him again.
A comforting rhyming story for children aged 3–6 to be read with an adult.
My parent is in hospital (age 7-11)
A leaflet for children aged 7 to 11 who have a parent in a mental health ward, offering simple explanations for understanding a reassurance and trustworthy websites that can be used to find out more.
My parent is in hospital (age 11 and above)
Information for older children (11+) and teenagers with a parent in a mental health ward offering more detailed explanations on what causes mental illness, how a parent may be helped in hospital and when they are likely to see them again.