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COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness

The aim of COPMI is to foster better mental health outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness, reduce stigma associated with parental mental illness, and help friends, family and workers identify and respond to the needs of the children and their families where parental mental illness exists.

It is estimated that over 1 million Australian children (or up to 23%) from birth to 18 years of age have at least one parent with a mental illness.

COPMI develops information for parents, their partners, carers, children, family and friends – along with online training courses for professionals – to support families either individually or through community services and programs.

All of these resources are developed under the guidance of people who share the experience of living in families where mental illness is a part of family life, and of leading researchers and service providers in the mental health field.

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Last reviewed: June 2015

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Parenting with a mental illness, and what you can do to help your child and family.

The Children of Parents with a Mental Illness national initiative (COPMI) creates mental health information and resources for Australian parents with mental illness and mental health problems, their children, families, carers and health professionals who work with them.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

For new mums

If you're pregnant or a new mum who experiences mental illness or mental health problems, this information is important. See helpful external resources for additional support.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

'Child Aware practice' eLearning course

About the 'Child Aware practice' eLearning course. Using a 'Child Aware' approach to ensure that parenting roles and the needs of children are considered in all interventions.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Getting help

Which scenario sounds like you? Things that you can do to get help for you and feel more supported if you have a parent with a mental illness. Includes information about what happens when you talk to a counsellor.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Relevant resources

The Children of Parents with a Mental Illness national initiative (COPMI) creates mental health information and resources for Australian parents with mental illness and mental health problems, their children, families, carers and health professionals who work with them.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Working with parents

Advice and recommendations for community mental health services, when working with parents experiencing mental illness, their partners or carers.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Helping my child and family

If you are a parent experiencing mental illness, there are lots of ways that you can help your child and family. The pages in this section are offered as guides to what may be useful as planning or talking tools for you and your family.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Different types of mental illness

Information about different types of mental illness (or 'diagnoses') and how parents with these illnesses may feel or behave.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Professional development

About professional development options, to help professionals and services strengthen their skills around working with parents who experience mental illness and their families.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

Why COPMI?

This page explains the rationale behind the COPMI national initiative and why it's so important to focus on the needs of children who have parents experiencing mental illness. It includes relevant facts about the risks to these children and discusses the critical role of professionals in working toward better outcomes for COPMI.

Read more on COPMI – Children of Parents with a Mental Illness website

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