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The links below are free COPMI resources that provide ideas for parents talking to their children at different developmental stages.

  • Communicating with babies – Although babies cannot understand everything their parent says, they are very sensitive and responsive to parent’s emotions and tone of voice.  This period of development is crucial for bonding and attachment.
  • Talking to toddlers and pre-schoolers – Consistency is very important for children at this developmental stage. Toddlers and young children can pick up even subtle changes in mood and behaviour when their parent is unwell.
  • Talking to primary school age children – Primary school age children will be able to understand basic information on mental illness and are very perceptive to their parent’s behaviour and body language.
  • Talking to teenagers – Teenagers need more in-depth information about mental illness. They are likely to gain information from online sources as well as talking to their parents and peers.

Family Focus videos – The Family Focus videos support parents and young people to talk about parent’s depression and anxiety. There is also an eLearning course version for professionals working with parents with depression or anxiety to support resilience in their children and the family unit.

COPMI has many more free resources, including ‘Family Talk booklet’ and ‘Piecing the Puzzle Together: Raising young people when mental illness is part of your life’ booklet.

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