Think child, think parent, think family: a guide to parental mental health and child welfare

Introduction: What we're dealing with

Parents with mental health problems and their children are a group with complex needs. Not all parents and children will need the support of health and social care services but those that do can find it difficult to get support that is acceptable, accessible and effective for the whole family. This guide identifies what needs to change and makes recommendations to improve service planning and delivery, and ultimately to improve outcomes for families.

Parents with mental health problems need support and recognition of their responsibilities as parents. Their children's needs must also be addressed. Research and government reports have highlighted the extent of the problem:

There are important public health implications of not addressing the needs of these families, as parental mental health problems can have an impact on parenting and on the child over time and across generations: