When your parent has a mental illness: children's experiences of a psycho-educational intervention

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Abstract

Psycho-education is a key component of interventions for young people who have a parent with a mental illness. When your parent has a mental illness is a psycho-educational booklet designed for young people, developed by the Australian Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) national initiative. The booklet aims to promote young people s understanding of their parents mental illness. This pilot study sought to ascertain possible differences in knowledge of mental illness after the young people viewed the booklet; another aim was to obtain young people s feedback on how they used the booklet. A mixed methods research design was employed. Nine participants between 12-15 years of age completed the Children s Knowledge Scale of Mental Illness questionnaire before and after reading the booklet. Five of these participants then took part in follow-up interviews. No significant change was recorded on the Knowledge Scale. In the interviews, young people indicated that the booklet helped them initiate conversations with their parent about the parent s illness. Results tentatively indicate the effectiveness of the booklet as a psychoeducational resource for young people whose parent has a mental illness. Implications for practice and future research in this area are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127 - 138
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Mental Health
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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