Monday, 17 November 2014

Family focus - talking together about parental depression & anxiety

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) and Beyondblue, DVD

Family focus is a DVD divided into two sections: adults and children. The children’s section has a video featuring two young women who have parents living with mental illness and helpful resources including the Koolta help music video.

For adults, there are two short films to view, the first one is entitled Karl’s story and the second Christina’s story. Both look at the impact of a parent’s mental illness on families and on children.

Karl’s Story shows how prevalent depression is for men in a rural setting. An important message is to identify and encourage people to get help and not dismiss what they are experiencing.  This film is valuable because it shows families as a unit and the benefit of supporting parents for the health and wellbeing of children.

The second film Christina’s story, is about anxiety. Christina, a mother of two primary school children Ella and Jason, is overwhelmed living with anxiety. What this film makes clear, is that children need to be included in discussions and understandings about their parent’s mental illness and know it is not their fault.

The Children’s section features Amy and Jess, who are young women who have parents with a mental illness. They emphasise facts about mental illness and messages such as, we all have days when we are sad but when people are so sad it is “hard to do everyday things, this kind of worry is called anxiety”.  Kids need to know that when parents live with anxiety or depression, it is not their fault. The “most important thing to do is to keep on being a kid” with time to do enjoyable things. It is tough for the person who is unwell but also for their children. Talking about it as a family can be really helpful.  Also in the children’s section of the DVD is Koolta’s rapping about parent’s mental health to help kids remember key messages.  This V-Clip can be viewed on youtube.

Find more fun youtube clips with key messages on what kids need to know on the COPMI website, under the kids, teens and young adults page. Plenty of other useful resources for families and health professionals are found on the COPMI website, including participation strategies on how to involve both youth and adults in mental health.

The AWCH library also holds books for health professionals such as Children caring for parents with mental illness: perspectives of young carers, parents and professionals and Children of parents with mental illness edited by Vicki Cowling.

Review by: Jillian Rattray
AWCH Librarian -
November 2014

Monday, 13 October 2014

At least 6 ways to be unique in this October's Mental Health Awareness month

October is Mental Health Awareness month. You may have joined many interested viewers, listeners, bloggers and tweeters in the media this week. This year National Mental Health Week, runs from 5 to 11 October with 10 October being World Mental Health Day, WMHD. This is a global program which aims to promote education, awareness and advocacy.

The ABC is going “Mental as” by supporting Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health experts are hoping that this year’s Mental Health Week will work to further diminish the stigma associated with mental illness. Mental Health Australia outlines three objectives for WMHD this year, “to encourage help seeking behaviour, reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and foster connectivity throughout communities”. Focus for this year’s campaign is on Mental Health begins with me and good mental health is important to everyone. You can participate by linking to post a mental health promise.

Visit Mental Health Month NSW, to find out about the theme for Mental Health Awareness Month this year, ‘beYOUnique!’.  Access a downloadable Mental Health Month Starter Kit 2014 and view events that promote good mental health in the community. Their other intiatives designed to promote mental health and benefit all include, Mental Health Month Art page or Stress Less Tip Art page.

Link to organisations such as Headspace Mental Awareness Week Campaign and ZIP IT, donate your voice campaign or SANE to find out more ways to show your support and access information. Other Australian resources aimed at young people and children are Kidshelpline, Blackdog Institute school teaching resource and teacher webinars (there’s one next week), Reachout,  Youthbeyondblue and Children of Parents with a Mental Illness.

In support of Mental Health Week at AWCH, we have posted a book review for The young mind: an essential guide to mental health for young adults, parents and teachers. Co-edited by Professor Sue Bailey and Dr Mike Schooter and in collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. This really helpful book from people in the know, fits well with the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness which encourages increased community understanding. So whether you are viewing, reading, affirming, posting, educating or hosting, I hope you find at least 6 ways to think about good mental health.

Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian

October 2014