The Think Family approach recognises how mental health issues can affect family life as well as the individual. Parental mental illness can have an adverse effect on children and young people, while the stress of parenting can also impact adult mental health.
Funded by the Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) for an initial three years to address these issues, the Mental Health Children’s Services (Think Child, Think Parent, Think Family) Project worked with adult mental health and children’s services in the statutory and voluntary sectors across Northern Ireland.
The project vision was to improve outcomes for parents with mental issues and their children by establishing a ‘Think Child, Think Parent, Think Family’ approach to the planning and delivery of services.
When the initial 3 year project ended in October 2012, it was rebranded “Think Family NI” (TFNI) and recognised as integral to the work of the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB). TFNI now comes under the umbrella of the Children and Young Peoples Strategic Partnership (CYPSP), which is led by the HSCB.
A new dimension has been brought to this phase of Think Family to include not only dependent children and young people of parents with mental health issues, but also those adult carers who continue to care for their adult children with mental health issues.
For further information about Think Family, please see: http://www.cypsp.org/regional-subgroups/think-family/