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Helping Children Manage Parental Mental Health or Substance Misuse Problems

There is a misconception that not talking to children about parental or family mental health and substance misuse problems is protective for them. In fact, children report that the opposite is true. When we don’t talk to children, this can lead to increased worry and anxiety. Children often come to their own conclusions, and even feel guilt that somehow the circumstances are their fault.

This course will explore the importance of talking to children and allowing them space to voice their worries and ask questions. It will also look at ways to do this that are age appropriate, and will share the lived experience of two very brave mums who supportedtheir own children through their own difficulties and recovery journeys.

As such, we hope it will be helpful to service users and families looking to start conversations with their children, but also professionals who may want to pass on advice to the individuals and families they work with.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the importance of giving children a voice
  • Discuss what can be frightening about this, but explore the potential consequences of not talking to children
  • Consider options for starting conversations with children from different age groups
  • Identify ways to keep the conversation going so that children feel better about the situation
  • Look at options, resources and services that can support us
  • Identify the positives for children when given the opportunity to talk about their worries and ask questions.

“I feel I have learned so much and been inspired by others in the room. Thank you all.”

Lead tutors: Helen Williamson, Caroline Cardillo and Margaret Harper

Dates, Times and Venues

19 November 2019 – 10am to 4pm
Room 3, The Curve, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester M25 3BL

27 February 2020 – 10am to 4pm
blueSCI, Coppice Library & Wellbeing Centre, Coppice Avenue, Sale, Manchester M33 4ND