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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Falling through the ‘young carer’ cracks
Closeup photo of a young woman looking ambivalently out of a train window on a grey day
I read with interest this week, a moving story of a girl who has a mother with schizoaffective disorder and spina bifida. She spent much of her time growing up hiding the fact she was caring for her mother.
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Peter’s Story
Photo of headteacher Peter Ward speaking
Vlog: Kirsty from Our Time interviews Peter Ward who shares memories of his father who had a mental illness.
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A mum’s perspective
Closeup photo of a parent and child's feet
Our Time has been a major life saver for me and my family. I am a single mum of three young children, 10-year-old Eve, four-year-old Gabby, and Jacob who is one and a half.
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The impact of childhood trauma and how it can be addressed
Photo of an empty swing.
If you work with children and young people you will have heard a lot about the impact of childhood trauma, and will probably know about trauma-informed approaches to supporting vulnerable children.
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Why is it so difficult to address parental mental illness?
Dympna Cunnane
Our upcoming campaign, ‘Being Seen and Heard’ came out of a cry for help from the children of parents with a mental illness. They told us that they were overlooked, talked over and ignored, despite the fact that they lived in the situation and knew most about their parent’s illness.
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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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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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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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