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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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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Being myself
Happy face balloon hiding face
Children of parents with a mental illness often come to school from very chaotic homes where they are hyper-alert and very stressed. They keep the problem hidden because they do not want anyone to know due to stigma and shame and they do not identify as carers because they are fearful of interventions that they see as making matters worse.
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Stress and how our workshops can offer respite
Dympna Cunnane CEO Our Time
We all need some stress in order to get us out of bed in the morning and life is full of opportunities to experience stress, from the demands of school, to friendships and sometimes the home environment.
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We need to be more hopeful when it comes to mental health
Adult sat in group at workshop
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, Michael Rutter Centre for Children and Families. There I met two very impressive people who have been working with and researching families who are coping with mental illness.
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Dear friends
Ambeya, Kirsty and Chineye
Over the years, Our Time – the multi-family programme for families coping with mental illness, loved by children and parents alike – has been a consistent and invaluable source of support for us three and our families.
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