Parental Mental Illness SIG

Recent research indicates that over 2 million children are affected by parental mental illness. This is 20% of the school population, or 6 in every classroom. 70% of these children will show signs of mental health problems by age 20, yet this group is not recognised in the UK and there is no statutory provision to support their wellbeing. Everyone knows someone in this situation yet they are hidden and neglected.

We know from wide-ranging consultation, service development delivery and evaluation, that relatively modest support measures make a significant difference to children and young people affected by parental mental illness, substantially increasing resilience and the ability to self-protect. Even small interventions, such as an explanation of a parent’s illness and peer support, can significantly improve the health and wellbeing of the child or young person living with a parent or carer with mental health problems.

This SIG addresses the major gap in awareness and understanding across professionals/practitioners providing a platform to learn and share knowledge, skills and research/evaluation findings, to develop and deliver evidence-based practice and work collaboratively on service development.

If you are interested in hearing more and/joining the SIG, please email


8 November, London – Parental Mental Illness – Supporting children and young people who live with a parent with a mental illness

Joint event with Our Time and Royal Society of Medicine13 December, London Parental mental illness and its impacts


ACAMH CEO, Martin Pratt, caught up with the speakers, Dr Alan Cooklin, Jess Streeting and Kirsty Taha-Wraith, to discuss the impact of parental mental health and what Our Time’s interventions mean for young people.

Dr Alan Cooklin and Jessica Streeting discuss the impact of parental mental illness, how family psychiatry has developed, how everyone has a key role to play, and the power of explanation and understanding as a protective intervention.