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)

A rhyming story for children aged 3–6 to be read with an adult.

Download
Sammy Bear booklet

Sally Bear’s daddy is in hospital (age 3-6 and below)

A rhyming story for children aged 3–6 to be read with an adult.

Download
Sally Bear booklet cover

My parent is in hospital (age 7-11)

A leaflet for children who have a parent in a mental health ward.

Download
My parent is in hospital 7-11 booklet cover

My parent is in hospital (age 11 and above)

Information for older children and teenagers with a parent in a mental health ward.

Download
My parent is hospital 11 plus booklet cover
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