Parental Mental Illness Edition Editorial

Last updated 4 January 2024
The Bridge front cover Parental Mental illness

Welcome to The Bridge. In this edition we focus on parental mental illness and its effect on children. This is published in advance of the ACAMH conference “Parental Mental Illness – Supporting children and young people who live with a parent with a mental illness” to be held in London on 11th November 2019 and a UK conference on Parental Mental Illness and its Impact at RSM on 13th December 2019 hosted by ACAMH, RSM and Our Time.

Both conferences are held in collaboration with Our Time, a charitable organisation which seeks to support families with a parent who has a mental illness. It aims to “create supportive environments for young people affected by parental mental illness where they can receive explanations about their parent’s condition, build resilience, have fun and be heard” (see Our Time Mission Statement).

Our Time is keen to lobby for proper and timely recognition of children affected by parental mental illness and to work with groups and networks to identify their needs. They also work to inform and train professionals who work with young people to help them identify and support those affected by parental mental illness.

Dympna Cunnane, Chief Executive Officer of Our Time has written a powerful guest editorial to introduce this issue and will also be speaking at the conference. It is hoped that this day will ‘Challenge the Silence’ that children and young people face, who live with and sometimes care for, a with a parent with mental illness.

Research digests

Improving outcomes for children exposed to parental mental illness: “it takes a village”

Family group cognitive behavioural therapy reduces youth internalising problems

One in four children in the UK are exposed to maternal mental illness

Paternal depression affects adolescent mental health

Young COPMI must be better informed to ensure adequate support

Researchers COMPARE mental illness transmission routes from parent to child

Summary of – Chapter: KidsTime Workshops: Strengthening resilience of children of parents with a mental illness


I am a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working clinically in a North Yorkshire CAMHS team. I am Associate Director of Medical Education in the trust I work in, also Training Program director for CAMHS higher training in Yorkshire.

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