My parent - information for children

A set of leaflets for children whose parents are admitted to a mental health ward have been developed to support families.

The leaflets are part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust's Think Family initiative, which seeks to strengthen how we think about all our patients within their wider family networks.

The leaflets are free to circulate, download and print by individuals, agencies, or professional groups such as social services and schools. 

They are available here: 

The leaflets originated from the Friends and Family Clinic, Nelson ward, Lambeth Hospital, identifying a need to support those looking after the children of mothers admitted to the unit - often under traumatic circumstances for the child.

The team wanted a way to help carers, often extended family members, start conversations with children about why their mother had been taken to hospital, through providing age-appropriate written information for the carers to use.

When Reay House library helped with an extensive search and found no suitable literature for children in this specific situation, a Quality Improvement project was launched. 

Draft information leaflets for three age ranges were piloted with patients, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service colleagues, children, families, social services, teachers and young carers at Our Time, a charity which supports young carers of parents with mental illness.

The leaflets have undergone several cycles of revision following feedback from different groups to reach the final versions.

Please note: The leaflets should be printed in booklet format.

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