Building communities for Carers Week 2017

Everything we do here at Our Time, whether it is working with families, schools or lobbying the government, is working to build a community around the child who has a parent with a mental illness.

We know that without a supportive network, 70% of these children will go on to have some level of emotional, cognitive or social difficulties and high levels of subsequent depression. The key to unlocking this network is to enable discussion about mental illness to come out into the open.

At Our Time we reduce the fear of stigmatisation by:

  • Providing them with a fun and supportive ‘break’ from the everyday challenges that they face
  • Enabling them to build positive relationships both within their family and with their peers/others that have similar lived experience
  • Giving them a voice, empowering them through drama, film and creative activities and peer-to-peer confidence building, to express their needs, wishes and aspirations
  • By providing appropriate ‘role models’, including ex-service users, build self-belief and positive life expectations

The impact of a community that is open to the issues they are facing is clear when you talk to those that attend our projects:

“I love talking about mental illness because it made me understand more about what it is and how it can affect people, like my mum … I realised I wasn’t the only child with that sort of problem, and that other kids felt the same. This, and someone asking me how I felt, made me believe in myself and feel more confident.” Young carer

“Coming [to KidsTime Workshops] has enabled her to see that others are in similar situations and, although we have problems, we are working through them. That has given her confidence and now she is blossoming.’ Parent

“I used to think that I was nobody, but it’s like ‘Who Cares?’ has given me a voice and that sharing my experience can help others. Me, and my dad, have a future. The world is no longer such as dark and frightening place. I feel that ‘Who Cares?’ has saved my life.” Young carer