Promoting Self-Determination in Parents With Mental Illness in Adult Mental Health Settings

Melinda J. Goodyear, Becca Allchin, Matt Burn, Henry von Doussa, Andrea Reupert, Phillip Tchernegovski, Jade Sheen, Rose Cuff, Angela Obradovic, Tytti Solantaus, Darryl Maybery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports a strengths-based intervention to support parents with mental illness and their children in adult mental health settings: “Let’s Talk About Children” (LTC) intervention. A qualitative methodology was adopted with parent participants receiving LTC in adult mental health and family services. The benefits for parents receiving LTC were described through in-depth interviews with 25 parents following the delivery of the program. Interview data identified an impact on parental self-regulation—mainly through a change in a sense of agency as a parent—and skill building, once a clearer picture of their child’s everyday life was understood. This study outlines the benefits of talking with parents about the strengths and vulnerabilities of their children during routine mental health treatment. The role for self-determination of parents in preventive interventions for children is an important consideration for mental health recovery, and it also helps to break the cycle of transgenerational mental illness within families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • adult mental health
  • preventive intervention
  • parenting
  • children of parents with a mental illness
  • self-determination

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