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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Helping children of parental mental illness to thrive in schools
Teenagers at school socialising
Being a young carer or coping with a parent with a mental illness will have a significant impact on a young person’s school life – both the academic and the social aspects.
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Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Week
Esther Malvern
Having a baby is a life changing experience, both exciting and terrifying at the same time. All parents know that it puts enormous pressure on the couple, the family and the mother in particular.
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What’s the point of drama in KidsTime Workshops?
KidsTime Workshop drama
The core philosophy of KidsTime Workshops is that children’s resilience to parental mental illness is improved and vulnerability lessened when they: have an understanding of their parent’s mental illness can discuss it with a sympathetic adult feel their experiences are validated by the group The workshop does this in several ways.
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A teacher’s perspective
teacher
When I first met Ambeya in 2005, I was a newly qualified teacher, aged 23, working in an inner-city London comprehensive. I had completed my training in two similar schools, but perhaps nothing prepares you for that first year of teaching in a school where many young people face such a multitude of personal and social challenges.
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The impact of ‘Who Cares?’ in schools
Joel Archibald young carer
Through the ‘Who Cares?’ project in school, I now recognise myself as a young carer, and that there are others like me. My peers in class now understand what my life is like, and why I am sometimes worried. I used to think that I was nobody, but it’s like ‘Who Cares?’ has given me a voice.
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Who cares? We do
Jess Streeting
People are not always aware of the distinct role of the school nurse. In essence, we take over where health visitors finish, promoting the health and well-being of the school aged population, aged from five to 19 years old.
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Five reasons why learning about my dad’s mental illness really helped me
Kirsty
The nature of mental health problems are often that they are confusing and unpredictable and this is especially true for people with bipolar, like my dad. We never knew when his next low or (even more scary) high would be.
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‘Kindness’ and what it means for children who have a parent with a mental illness
Alan Cooklin
There are all kinds of prejudice; race, gender, disabilities for example, but an often hidden prejudice is felt by around 3.4 million children who have a parent with a mental illness. Many isolate themselves, assuming (sometimes correctly) that none of their friends or school mates will understand.
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Skydiving for Our Time and World Mental Health Day
Ambeya after skydive
What perfect timing it was to skydive for Our Time: the day before World Mental Health Day 2016. Like my China trek, words cannot fully express what it felt like to complete a skydive.
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A hidden issue
Esther Malvern
Children who have a parent with a mental illness might not be identified as a young carer. They might not meet the criteria of doing a caring role. Maybe there is another parent or family member seen as the main carer for their parent.
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The importance of good relationships when you have a parent with a mental illness
two teenagers talking
It can be hard enough being a young person but having a parent with a mental illness can bring a lot of added pressures. Often this has happened without anyone realising or acknowledging how much you are caring or doing.
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Have you heard of COPMI?
Alan Cooklin
If you live in the UK you probably haven’t heard of COPMI. That’s because the UK government does not recognise children of parents with mental illness (COPMI). 
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