Parents with a mental illness

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Parents with a mental illness in the AIFS library catalogue

Trends in mental health related contacts among mothers of Aboriginal children in Western Australia (1990-2013) : a linked data population-based cohort study of over 40,000 children.

Lima F, Shepherd C, Wong J, O'Donnell M and Marriott R
BMJ Open v. 9 no. 7 2019: Article e027733
This article investigates the maternal mental health burden faced by young Aboriginal children in Western Australia. It examines the prevalence of mental health issues among Aboriginal mothers, including trends over the last twenty years, timing in regards to pregnancy or childbirth, and association with socio-demographic factors. The article analysed linked administrative data for Aboriginal children born from 1990-2013 in Western Australia, for their mothers' contacts with health services about mental health concerns, including with hospitals, community mental health centres, specialists, and private practitioners. The study found that 34% of these children were born to a mother who had at least one mental health related contact within the 5-years prior to birth or 1-year post birth.

The cost of perinatal depression and anxiety in Australia

PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia), Gidget Foundation, Perinatal Wellbeing Centre, Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia Inc., Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness Inc.
Australia : Gidget Foundation Australia, 2019.
Perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA) during pregnancy and the first year after birth is a common condition and affects 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers in Australia. This report presents estimates on the cost of PNDA to the health system, economy and wellbeing of those impacted. In 2019, PNDA is estimated to cost $877m, such as increased use of health and social services, increased risk of chronic illness and substance abuse, increased risk of child health and developmental risks, and productivity losses from increased workforce exit, absenteeism, and carer role. These costs are substantial for both parent and child in the short to medium term and also lifetime.

Mental health: draft report

Australia. Productivity Commission.
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2019.
The Productivity Commission is now undertaking an inquiry into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth. This draft report has been prepared for further public consultation and input. It presents the draft findings and recommendations of the inquiry to date, drawing upon the many submissions received so far. It finds that mental ill-health is widespread, with costs to the Australian economy of at least $43 to $51 billion per year, plus another $130 billion associated with diminished health and reduced life expectancy. The treatment of mental illness has been tacked on to a health system that has been largely designed around the characteristics of physical illness, but also many people who do seek treatment are not receiving the level of care they need. The report presents draft recommendations for reforming prevention and early intervention, addressing critical gaps in healthcare service availability and delivery, and assisting people with mental illness to get into work and enable early treatment of work-related mental illness. Chapters include: Draft recommendations and findings; The case for major reform; What mental ill-health and suicide are costing Australia; Re-orienting health services to consumers; Primary mental healthcare; Supported online treatment; Specialist community mental health services; Emergency and acute inpatient services; Physical and substance use comorbidities; Towards integrated care: linking consumers and services; Mental health workforce; Psychosocial support; Carers and families; Income and employment support; Housing and homelessness; Justice; Interventions in early childhood and school education; Youth economic participation; Mentally healthy workplaces; Social participation and inclusion; Suicide prevention; Federal roles and responsibilities; and Funding arrangements.

Three variations on the Australian supported playgroup model.

Wright A, Warren J, Burriel K and Sinnott L
International Journal of Social Welfare v. 28 no. 3 Jul 2019: 333-344
This article describes the underlying framework of the Families New South Wales supported playgroup model and explains how it has been successfully adapted for use with three different populations: mothers living with mental illness, children with disabilities, and families in economically disadvantaged areas. The supported playgroup model provides both prevention work and a 'soft' entry point for community services, while also offering parent peer support and opportunities for children to play.

Forecasting Future Outcomes: Stronger Communities Investment Unit - 2018 insights report

Taylor Fry Consulting Actuaries, New South Wales
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Government, 2019
This paper presents a new actuarial model to guide investment to vulnerable families and presents estimates on future service use and costs for selected at risk groups in New South Wales. This model was developed by the Taylor Fry consulting firm to guide funding under the NSW Government's 'Their Futures Matter' reforms, which aim to deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families through a coordinated, wrap-around, and evidence-based service system. The paper explains the approach of the model and sets out data for several key vulnerable groups: young children aged 0-5, young adolescents, young people transitioning to adulthood, young mothers, children of young mothers, young adolescents with parental mental health risk factors, young people using mental health services, and the 1,000 individuals with highest service costs. Under each group it looks at characteristics, estimated future cost of government services, projected future social outcomes, and within group variations. It models data from linked state and commonwealth data concerning child protection, housing and homelessness services, justice, health, education, mental health, alcohol and drugs, parental risk factors, and welfare. This paper is intended to support business cases for new policies and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families.

The acceptability of a single session family focused approach for children/young people and their parents attending a child and youth mental health service.

Hoadley B, Falkov A and Agalawatta N
Advances in Mental Health v. 17 no. 1 Special issue on parenting interventions and the mental health of children and parents 2019: 44-54
This article evaluates the acceptability of a single session intervention for families where both a parent and their child has a mental illness. The intervention is aimed at families attending a child mental health service and uses The Family Model to support a semi-structured conversation among the family and clinicians for developing a shared care plan. 32 family members and 6 clinicians provided feedback on their experience working with this approach and whether it led to improved understandings and communication. These initial findings are positive and support the trial of this approach with larger samples and in different settings.

Unfogging the future : investigating a strengths-based program to build capacity and resilience in parents with mental illness.

McFarland L and Fenton A
Advances in Mental Health v. 17 no. 1 Special issue on parenting interventions and the mental health of children and parents 2019: 21-32
This article describes a parenting program for parents with a mental illness in regional Victoria. The program is a strength-based and recovery-focused intervention involving face-to-face group sessions and reflective activities, with the aim of building capacity and resilience. Some feedback from a sample of 4 parents and 2 program facilitators are included, about the strengths and benefits of the program.

SMS4 perinatal parents : designing parenting support via text messages for mothers with severe mental illness (SMI) and their partners.

Fletcher R, Campbell L, Williams A, Rawlinson C, Dye J, Baldwin A, May C and StGeorge J
Advances in Mental Health v. 17 no. 1 Special issue on parenting interventions and the mental health of children and parents 2019: 85-95
This article describes an intervention that uses SMS text messages to help support mothers with severe mental illness and their partners through pregnancy and early infancy. A suite of brief messages were developed for mothers and fathers separately, with topics looking at mood, attachment, co-parenting, self-care, and common stress-inducing parenting issues. The intervention is adapted from the SMS4Dads intervention for new fathers by an expert advisory group.

Breaking down the barriers: findings of the National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage.

National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage (London, England), Agenda (Charity), Against Violence & Abuse (Organization)
London : Agenda and AVA, 2019.
The National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage was established by British charities AVA and Agenda to investigate the situation of women who have experienced violence and go on to face a range of other issues including addiction and poor mental health. This report presents the Commission's findings and recommendations. The report provides insights into the challenges facing these women in England and Wales, and looks at: the links between domestic and sexual abuse and multiple disadvantage - particularly mental health, substance use issues, homelessness, and poverty - across women of different identities, in particular race, ethnicity and disability; the experiences of women facing these issues, including their views on what services would best meet their needs and support them to rebuild their lives; current provision to support these women, including gaps and current shortcomings in the system; and evidence, ideas and good practice around how best to support these women. The Commission drew together a panel of leading experts, a Community of Practice of professionals, public submissions, and volunteer peer researchers. Eleven main themes emerged from the data collected; poverty, accessibility, homelessness, the criminal justice system, multiple disadvantage and trauma, trauma-informed response, partnership, parenting, gender-sensitive service provision, funding and commissioning, and early intervention. This final report includes a copy of the report by the peer researchers 'Hand in hand: survivors of multiple disadvantage discuss service & support'.

Online peer support programs for young people with a parent who has a mental illness : service providers' perspectives.

Price-Robertson R, Reupert A and Maybery D
Australian Social Work v. 72 no. 3 2019: 274-286
This article looks at the potential benefits and challenges of online peer support programs for young people with a parent who has a mental illness. Peer support programs have shown promise for supporting these young people and online delivery mechanisms could help address access issues. Interviews were held with 17 mental health professionals in Victoria regarding the types and number of peer support programs on offer locally, the strengths and weaknesses of current programs, barriers to access, and the potential opportunities and challenges of online approaches to peer support. The participants noted that there were many eligible young people missing out even in well-serviced regions, and held broad support for the idea of online programs.

Adverse childhood experiences and healthcare costs in adult life.

Loxton D, Townsend N, Dolja-Gore X, Forder P and Coles J
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse v. 28 no. 5 2019: 511-525
This article looks at one long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences - their impact on increased health care expenditure in adulthood. It investigates the prevalence of childhood adversity - from having a household member with a mental illness to experiencing psychological abuse - and compares these women's spending on primary, allied, and specialist healthcare services over the 20 years from 1996-2015. Data is taken from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, for the cohort born in 1973-1978, linked with government data on Medicare subsidies and rebates. 41% of the participants reported some form of adversity in childhood, including 8% reporting physical abuse, 17% reporting psychological abuse, and 9% witnessing intimate partner violence. Overall, women who had experienced adversity in childhood had higher healthcare costs than their peers, with these costs increasing over time.

Hand in hand: survivors of multiple disadvantage discuss service & support

Hailes A
London : Agenda and AVA, 2018.
A National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage has been established by British charities AVA and Agenda to investigate the situation of women who have experienced violence and go on to face a range of other issues including addiction and poor mental health. As part of this work, volunteer peer researchers were recruited and trained to conduct interviews with other women in their communities to ensure that the voices of those with lived experience were included. This report presents the findings and analysis of these interviews with 29 women from England and Wales, highlighting the far-reaching impacts of abuse and trauma. Topics discussed include types and experiences of abuse, 'honour' based violence and abuse, impacts of abuse, identifying abuse, help-seeking, police, health services, mental health services, substance use services, specialist domestic abuse services, housing and homelessness, and issues relating to children.

Profile of consumers and their partners of a perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) service in Australia.

Coates D, Saleeba C and Howe D
Health and Social Care in the Community v. 26 no. 1 Jan 2018: e154-e163
This article provides information on the characteristics of clients and their partners attending a perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH) service in New South Wales, establishing a profile of typical consumers. Client data for 406 consumers over a 6-year period was analysed, including demographical characteristics, mental health problems, and psychosocial vulnerabilities. The findings show that clients presented with an average of nine different vulnerabilities, most commonly depression, anxiety, self-harm, a history of family mental health issues, childhood trauma, limited support, relationship conflict with partners, and financial stress, with the client's partners also experiencing a range of vulnerabilities.

How do Australian adult mental health clinicians manage the challenges of working with parental mental illness? A phenomenological study.

Tchernegovski P, Reupert A and Maybery D
Child and Family Social Work v. 23 no. 3 Aug 2018: 381-389
This article explores how clinicians in adult mental health services face engage with clients who are also parents. Interviews were held with 11 Australian clinicians regarding their experiences in working with parents, effective strategies, managing sensitive parenting conversations, making decisions about child safety, and working with child protection services.

Meeting the intergenerational needs of families where a parent has a mental illness.

Goodyear M, McDonald M, von Doussa H, Cuff R and Dunlop B
Journal of Parent and Family Mental Health v. 3 no. 2 2018: Article 1
This article discusses practice issues in helping families where a parent has a mental illness, and introduces the 'Families where a Parents has a Mental Illness' (FaPMI) Standards of Practice and Audit Tool. The FaPMI audit tool is used to monitor and report on adult mental health clinicians' practice in Victoria, while the standards of practice aim to improve the identification, assessment, support, and referral of families, and encourage family-focused practice. These resources were developed as part of a policy directive established by the Victorian State Government and are currently being trialled.

Time for a new zeitgeist in perinatal mental health.

Judd F, Newman L and Komiti A
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 52 no. 2 Feb 2018: 112-116
This opinion piece argues that it is now time for perinatal psychiatrists to turn their attention to the design and delivery of services targeting high-risk women and their infants. Antenatal and postnatal depression have been the dominant focus for clinicians and researchers over the last three decades, and great advances have been made. However, there has been less work on developing evidence-based treatments and services for complex cases where there are many underlying risk factors not only for depression but also for parenting difficulties, such as through psychoses, mental illness, drug use, and histories of trauma. The authors highlights the impact of maternal risk factors on attachment, parenting, and foetal development and considers early identification and intervention approaches.

Severity of illness and adaptive functioning predict quality of care of children among parents with psychosis : a confirmatory factor analysis.

Campbell L, Hanlon M, Galletly C, Harvey C, Stain H, Cohen M, Van Ravenzwaaij D and Brown S
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry v. 52 no. 5 May 2018: 435-445
This article investigates levels of adequate parenting among parents with psychotic disorders, and the predictors of quality parenting. It analyses data from the second Australian National Survey of Psychosis in 2010, for the 234 people who were parents living with dependent children. The article considers levels of participation, interest and competence in childcare, and investigates the impact of psychosocial support, illness severity, substance abuse, adaptive functioning, and parenting role on parenting adequacy. The analysis finds that the majority of parents provided adequate parenting, though greater symptom severity and poorer adaptive functioning place parents at risk. The implications for targeted support are briefly discussed.

Improving service responses to vulnerable families during pregnancy and infancy: final report

Parkinson S, Gunawan A, Lewig K, Flaherty R and Arney F
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Social Services, 2017.
This study summarises what is known about strategies for working with expectant, new and vulnerable parents where alcohol and other drug, mental health and domestic and family violence issues occur. It reviews the evidence from Australia and overseas and consults experts on how strategies may be utilised in the Australian context. The elements that may contribute to successful outcomes and successful targeted outcome areas are also highlighted. Strategies reviewed include home visitation programs, behavioural and psychosocial programs, collaborative approaches, workforce development and screening and assessment processes.

Australian Perinatal Mental Health Guideline evidence review

Hereco (Firm), Centre of Perinatal Excellence
Flemington, Vic. : COPE, 2017.
The Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Government of Australia to review and update the National Perinatal Mental Health Guideline, which was previously developed by beyondblue. The Guideline aims to guide health practitioners and policy makers in best practice in the identification, prevention, treatment, and management of mental health disorders in women that may occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a baby. To help inform this review, COPE commissioned Hereco Health Research Consulting to assess the evidence on the identification of mental health problems during the perinatal period, the effectiveness of different treatments or prevention approaches, and possible harms to the offspring or mother related to the use of various interventions. This report presents the findings of this review, presented as 4 separate technical reports within one volume.

The experiences of women who have accessed a perinatal and infant mental health service : a qualitative investigation.

Coates D, Campbell L and Davis E
Advances in Mental Health v. 15 no. 1 2017: 42-57
This article explores the experiences of clients from a perinatal infant mental health (PIMH) service, investigating whether the service met their needs and how it could be improved. The Gosford PIMH service in New South Wales provides a wide range of interventions for mothers for risk of developing mental health problems or poor mother-infant attachment. Forty discharged clients were interviewed, highlighting the positive impact of the service and key areas of good practice.

Legislative policy to support children of parents with a mental illness : revolution or evolution?

Tchernegovski P, Maybery D and Reupert A
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion v. 19 no. 1 2017: 1-13
The 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act mandates clinicians to support the children of mentally ill patients. This article explores whether this reform has had an impact on the views and practice of mental health professionals, drawing on interviews with 11 practitioners. The findings indicate that the reform has not promoted change within organisations and instead highlights the role of practice development staff as drivers of practice change.

SMS4dads : providing information and support to new fathers through mobile phones - a pilot study.

Fletcher R, May C, Lambkin F, Gemmill A, Cann W, Nicholson J, Rawlinson C, Milgrom J, Highet N, Foureur M, Bennett E and Skinner G
Advances in Mental Health v. 15 no. 2 2017: 121-131
This article tests a pilot mobile phone intervention for new fathers, to help inform its development. 'SMS4dads' is an SMS-based interactive telephone-linked support system designed to support fathers with helpful and encouraging text messages, links to relevant web resources, mood monitoring, and connection to a crisis telephone support. Forty-six participants were recruited to test its uptake, user engagement, and acceptability. Participant feedback indicated that SMS4dads had good acceptability and that the content was helpful, though less than half of the participants used the mood tracking feature. The implications for development are discussed.

'They are the children of our clients, they are our responsibility' : a phenomenological evaluation of a school holiday program for children of adult clients of a mental health service.

Isobel S, Pretty D and Meehan F
Advances in Mental Health v. 15 no. 2 2017: 132-146
This article explores client and professional views on a school holiday program for children of adult clients of a mental health service. Interviews and focus groups were held with children, young people, parents, and staff on the meaning and experience of participation in the program, and its perceived benefits. The findings have implications for adult mental health services with limited resources wanting to explore family-focused early intervention opportunities.

'Being in a group with others who have mental illness makes all the difference' : the views and experiences of parents who attended a mental health parenting program.

Coates D, Phelan R, Heap J and Howe D
Children and Youth Services Review v. 78 Jul 2017: 104-111
Though parents with mental illness could benefit from accessing parenting programs, this population tends to be reluctant to do so. This article evaluates client satisfaction with an adaption of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program for use with these parents. This ten week intervention consists of a six week group parenting program followed by four weekly home visits. The evaluation draws on the feedback surveys of 116 participants and interviews with 18 participants. The article discusses program satisfaction and value and the factors for client engagement with this model.

Thinking families : a study of the characteristics of the workforce that delivers family-focussed practice.

Goodyear M, Maybery D, Reupert A, Allchin R, Fraser C, Fernbacher S and Cuff R
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing v. 26 no. 3 Jun 2017: 238-248
This article examines the characteristics of mental health professionals associated with family-focussed practices. 307 practitioners from adult mental health services from Victoria were surveyed, comparing such characteristics as gender, years of experience, location, and previous training. The findings indicate that particular practitioner characteristics do predict the delivery of family-focussed practice.

Legislative policy to support children of parents with a mental illness : revolution or evolution?

Tchernegovski P, Maybery D and Reupert A
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion v. 19 no. 1 2017: 1-13
The Victorian Mental Health Act 2014 aims to place people with a mental illness at the centre of decision making about their treatment and care. One aspect is that clinicians are mandated to recognise and support patients' children. Drawing on interviews with 11 clinical adult mental health professionals, this article explores the introduction of this new legislative requirement on mental health services and daily practice and whether it has led to improved support for the children of mentally ill parents.

Parenting as a focus of recovery : a systematic review of current practice.

Reupert A, Price-Robertson R and Maybery D
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal v. 40 no. 4 Dec 2017: 361-370
This systematic review looks at interventions that have incorporated parenting as a focus of recovery-orientated practice in adult mental health services. It evaluates the quality of the evidence on whether including parenting in such practice is effective in improving parent, child, and family wellbeing. The published research was reviewed from 2006 and 2015, identifying 3 relevant interventions.

"What do we do? This is not our area" - child care providers' experiences when working with families and preschool children living with parental mental illness.

Laletas S, Reupert A and Goodyear M
Children and Youth Services Review v. 74 Mar 2017: 71-79
This article explores the experiences and needs of child care staff working with families living with parental mental illness. Drawing on interviews with 8 staff from child care centres, it discusses child development issues, tensions and anxiety, inadequate knowledge and training, and sensitivity when working with families. These findings can help inform training resources for child care centres.

Working with families with parental mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues where there are child protection concerns : inter-agency collaboration.

Coates D
Child and Family Social Work v. 22 Suppl S4 Mar 2017: 1-10
Inter-agency collaboration is paramount to the protection of vulnerable children, especially in families with a complex array of problems. This article presents a range of recommendations to improve collaboration between child protection workers and mental health/drug and alcohol clinicians - from the perspective of clinicians operating in Keep Them Safe-Whole Family Team (KTS-WFT), a New South Wales referral service providing interventions to families with parental mental health/drug and alcohol problems where there are child protection concerns. Participants reported a number of barriers to effective collaboration and recommended options for how these could be addressed.

An evaluation of a service to keep children safe in families with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Coates D and Howe D
Australasian Psychiatry v. 24 no. 5 2016: 483-488
This article evaluates a specialised program to assist families with child safety concerns and parental mental health or drug and alcohol problems. The program, in New South Wales, aimed to improve parenting capacity, child safety, and family functioning. The study evaluates client data over 3 years, investigating improvement between intake and discharge.
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