The Parent Participation Toolkit

‘’When parents and carers are fully engaged in the treatment process, we see improved outcomes for the child and family.’’

This quote comes from a new toolkit that has been produced to help improve mental health services for children and young people by valuing the role of parents.
Young Minds and NHS England have worked with over 900 parents to listen to their experiences and their views on how to encourage their effective participation

As a parent with my own experiences of mental health services for children this is a very welcome message to hear.
I have experienced a whole range of levels of participation; Sometimes it felt like I didn’t exist and sometimes I was offered as much support as my child.

Talking to other parents, I know that this is not uncommon. There is still a wide range of experiences across the services, some helpful and some inadequate but I hope the introduction of this tool kit will be a valuable step in the right direction.
It is a very frightening and confusing time when your child develops a mental health problem. There are strong emotions of fear, anxiety, helplessness, confusion, sometimes even shame and self-blame Support at this time to enable parents to make sense of what is going on is vitally important. There can be an impact on the parents own health, employment, family relationships and resilience and this will also have an enormous effect on their capacity to care for their child.
It can be very isolating experience. It’s a difficult thing to talk about and we often feel uncertain about how others will react and therefore who we can turn to for help and support.
I have learned how helpful it is to connect to other parents and to access emotional support for myself.

Phase hopes to offer this support to parents who are caring for a child or young person experiencing mental health difficulties in particular self-harm, through our new monthly Parent Support Group.

The group is run by 2 parents who can share their own experiences to help provide a safe, friendly place for other people to find mutual support and to share skills, resources and information. If you would like to come along and see if you would find this group helpful, please email Parent Support Group us for more details

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