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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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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The media and mental illness – reinforcing stigma and shame
Photo of a mother holding a sad child close.
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
hand prints and heart
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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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
Photo of an 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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