Stories

By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can put an end to the myths and assumptions around parental mental illness. If you want to share your own story and help others find out more about parental mental illness, you can submit your blog or your vlog online through the Our Time website.

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Reasons why I stand up for the rights of children who have a parent with a mental illness
Ambeya Begum young carer Our Time trustee
Life is tough for parents with a mental illness – but it’s also tough for their children. It is impossible to make this issue go away so I feel it’s my duty to raise awareness of it, so these children get the support they need to help them through. 
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I realised why Mum was different and that I had nothing to be ashamed of
Chineye Njoku
My mum had postnatal depression when I was born and is also bipolar, so I’ve always known mental illness. When I was two years old, I was sent to Nigeria with my elder sister, Sabrina, and we stayed there, living with my father’s family for the following seven years.
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The bravest mothers I have ever met
Louise Rodgers
A couple of weeks ago I met some of the bravest mothers I have ever met. They were all giving their time freely, bringing their children along on a sultry summer’s evening to share their experiences of parenting.
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KidsTime Workshops reflection
Mishael Downer
I have witnessed the positive impact that KidsTime Workshops have on both children and parents who attend. I’ve discovered there’s a typical pattern of children starting off shy before opening up after approximately 10 minutes of arriving.
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The journey of the Smith family
Shadows of a family
The Smith family was referred to a KidsTime Workshop by social care. Susan, the mother, had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and severe depression and had been under the care of mental health teams for many years. Her then twelve-year-old daughter, Alison, was under a 'child in need' plan, and her social worker hoped the group would help Alison feel more confident.
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Can a child’s environment make them sick?
It wasn’t long ago that issues such as lack of clean water and good sewage were cause for concern. Today we are lucky to live in a country where this is no longer a public health issue and a subject that no longer needs to be discussed. However, we continue to be surrounded by other pressing public health issues that often go unrecognised.
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Stress – is it real?
Alan Cooklin
It is great that the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is stress; because it’s so universal, isn’t it? Or is it, and has the word become so overused and hackneyed that it's almost lost its meaning?
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The media and mental illness – reinforcing stigma and shame
Mother holding child
The violent acts of shooting in schools in the US or stabbings on the streets of London are often attributed to mental health issues and this may indeed be true but the mental health is not in itself the cause, but the symptom of something wrong in our society.
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KidsTime Workshop visit
KidsTime Workshop attendees
For me, visiting my first KidsTime Workshop in February 2018, the thing that struck me most was the sheer honesty with which the parents talked about their situation, and their concerns for their children.
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Toxic stress vs chronic stress – what is the difference?
Dympna Cunnane
Toxic stress and chronic stress: these are very scary words, what do they mean? Let’s take them one at a time, stress is the tension between our capabilities and the demands on us, like an elastic band stretched between two poles.
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Response to The Guardian letter: Parental conflict and children’s mental health
Dympna Cunnane
Serious and sustained parental conflict often arises when there is a parent or parents with mental health problems. We know that parental/home environment has a big and lifelong impact on children and young people’s mental and physical wellbeing.
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Being ourselves
Alan Cooklin
A message to young people and their parents for Children’s Mental Health Week. The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Being Ourselves’. Well that’s an obvious one isn’t it – who could disagree with that?
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