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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Ambeya on winning ‘Young Student Volunteer’ at the Westminster Community Awards
Ambeya with certificate
I do not do what I do for appreciation or recognition, but when I found myself being celebrated at an award ceremony, where the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the director of communities and chief executives, were congratulating me for the time and dedication I give to Our Time, it made me realise that it isn’t officials or leaders who create change.
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A young carer’s experience of living with a parent with mental illness
Back of a boy
My name is Matthew, I am 14 years old and I live with my mum, dad and little sister. I am in Year 10 and I like school, but I find it hard to make friends because I don’t have time to do things with them, and I don’t want to bring friends home because my house is very messy and my dad is a bit unpredictable.
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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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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
Meet the teacher who, as an NQT, met a young girl when she was in real need of support. Find out how she supported her to build resilience.
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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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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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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. It was simply incredible.
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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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