Parental mental health and child welfare – a mother’s story

What is the video about?

It can be particularly difficult for parents with mental health problems and their children to get accessible, acceptable and effective support for the whole family. Different family members may present to different services and therefore it is important that services offer an open door into a system of joined-up support at every point of entry. This film is about one mother’s experience of seeking support for herself and her family. It sets out in practice how different services worked together with the family to provide the support that was needed.

Messages for practice

  1. Staff in all settings should routinely and reliably ask the right questions to identify families with a parent with a mental health problem. They should also explore the impact of any mental health problem on parenting and the child, and then put parents in touch with the right services.
  2. Staff in all settings should develop a working knowledge and confidence in how other services operate, what they have to offer and how to refer to them.
  3. Staff in all settings should reassure parents that identifying a need for support is a way of avoiding rather than precipitating child protection measures.
  4. Staff in all settings should be proactive in developing good working relationships with their counterparts in other agencies, so as to facilitate joint working and shared case management.

Who will find this useful?

Staff in mental health and children’s services from all sectors. It is also relevant for those delivering pre-and post-qualifying education and training to health and social care staff and others responsible for workforce development. Service users and their carers and families may also find it useful.