What is it about?
This grounded theory study explored parents' experiences of responding to their children's need for understanding parental mental health concerns. Fifteen parents with severe and enduring mental health difficulties participated in the study. The findings suggest four main social processes that influence parents' talk with their children about parental mental health issues, namely “Protecting and being protected,” “Responding to children's search for understanding,” “Prioritizing family life,” and “Relating to others.” Implications of the findings for clinical practice and future research are considered. In particular, the need for more family-orientated services where parents experience parental mental health problems is highlighted.
Why is it important?
Many interventions for children of parents with mental health concerns aim to help children understand and make sense of their experiences related to their parents' mental health problems. However, we know that children often do not receive formal help from services - therefore it is important to understand more fully how parents themselves think about and respond to their children's need for understanding. This can help us better support parents themselves in this process.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Lizette Nolte
In partnership with: