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


Event type Training Day

Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA.

ACE research identifies Parental Mental Illness as one of the 10 most significant adversities and risk factors for children and young people’s mental wellbeing. This day will ‘Challenge the Silence’ that children and young people face with a parent with mental illness.

The day will provide you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to help children and young people discuss Parental Mental Illness, understanding its impact. You will gain practical skills for talking to children and young people to help them develop resilience.

This day comprises a series of interactive discussions and lectures, given in an informal workshop style. There will be a combination of presentations to impart information, discussions and practical exercises to develop skills and confidence.

This event is run in partnership with Our Time.

Who should attend

This event should be of interest to professionals those who work with children and young people in many different settings, health, social care, education, youth justice, in particular;

  • Mental Health professionals
  • Health professionals
  • Commissioners of health and education services
  • Social Care workers and leaders
  • Teachers and Support Staff
  • Youth-based service workers and leaders
  • Charity workers

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding the nature and prevalence of the impact of parental mental illness
  • Clarity about the impact of not intervening and the positive impact of intervening as early as possible
  • Increased awareness of how to build resilience in affected children – a conceptual model of mental illness that both the children and parents can understand together
  • Recognition of the importance of protecting the child’s thinking from the disordered aspects of their parents’ thinking
  • Appreciation of the power of explanation and understanding as a protective intervention
  • Gain a new model of explanation as well as skills and confidence in talking to children and young people about mental illness

About the speakers

Jessica Streeting, Master Trainer – Our Time

Jessica is a Queen’s Nurse. Her professional background and expertise is in child and adolescent public health – primarily nursing and lecturing. She is the Named Nurse for Looked After Children in Westminster, working for CLCH NHS Community Trust. Jessica’s school and public health nursing career has afforded her diverse opportunities including a recent secondment to Public Health England Chief Nursing Directorate as a school nurse advisor and a practice lecturer post at London South Bank University. Jessica has been struck by how often parental mental illness is at the root of many childhood problems. She has seen how Our Time concepts have made a real difference to families and has played a key part in establishing the ‘Who Cares?’ programme for the charity.

Dympna Cunnane, Chief Executive Officer Our Time

Dympna has a BA (University College Dublin) in Psychology and Philosophy, an MA in Psychology (Tavistock Institute London) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Systems Thinking, as well as professional training in psychoanalysis (Jungian). She has worked as an organisation development specialist in large organisations and has over twenty years’ experience of working as a consultant to top level executives in international public and private sector companies. Dympna is interested in mental wellbeing in its broadest sense, having trained and worked in therapeutic settings as well as applying her knowledge to the world of work and workplaces. She believes that the mind is our most powerful resource, and as such, determines much of our life experience.

Kirsty Tahta-Wraith, Expert by experience and Assistant Psychologist (NHS Barking and Dagenham)

Kirsty has worked with Our Time since 2011 in several capacities and is determined to ensure the impact of Our Time’s services is made available to more than just the lucky few. Kirsty attended Our Time’s KidsTime Workshops from the age of eight with her father who had bipolar disorder. She is clear that the support she and her family received at the workshops made a big difference to her confidence, as well as influencing her career choice.  She is passionate about supporting families affected by parental mental illness and she now contributes to the workshops as a counsellor, drawing on her own experiences to support those in similar situations. She continues to be involved in the development of the resources for schools as part of the ‘Who Cares?’ programme and has delivered numerous presentations to school staff and other professional audiences, including the Marlborough Family Service Conference.