Betty is the full-time carer for her granddaughter Jana. Together, they came to our KidsTime Workshops, along with Jana’s mum (Betty’s daughter) who has a mental illness. Betty told us about the difference it’s made.
“The KidsTime Workshops have helped me to support my granddaughter, and helped her to know that she’s not the only one who has a parent with a mental illness. Jana doesn’t like to be different and wants to fit in, so when we attended for the first time and played a game called ‘anyone who’ – where one category was ‘anyone who doesn’t live with their parents’ – it was really helpful for her to see other children get up and run around with her.
At that first session we also watched a video called, ‘can you catch a mental illness?’. This really helped to clarify things. It was good for Jana to understand that mental illness does not spread like a cold.
The KidsTime Workshops help Jana’s relationship with her mum – it’s an opportunity for them to come together. Jana’s mum really likes seeing Jana there. It was the first time they talked about mental illness. The more she learns, the more it helps her get answers to some of the questions she might have, so it really helps with communicating. They made a collage together and it was really positive.
It’s also helping me in making me more aware of my daughter’s illness and the signs to look out for; I can tell if she’s not well, and when I might need to shield Jana more.
It’s also a really good opportunity to meet other people, to get awareness, get correct definitions and learn explanations. It’s so friendly and the children have so much fun playing the games. It helps to combat the alienation and stigma, and promotes healthier explanations that are age appropriate. Feeling taken care of by having taxis and pizza organised also removes barriers to people coming. Eating together with the staff and other families is lovely. Most importantly, it’s fun!”
*Names have been changed. This case study has been written with the express consent of the family.