Living with Under-Fives: a Programme for Parents with a Mental Illness

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Parenthood is considered a major life role. Yet for people with a major mental illness, it is one that is fraught with difficulties and for which they receive the least support. Research on parenting and parenting programmes for people with a major mental illness is sparse and most of the papers presented do not provide a working model that can be easily replicated. This lack of support for parents or knowledge of working parenting programmes has often resulted in children being placed in care.

Occupational therapists working in an Australian mental health service developed a two-stream programme which aimed to consolidate the parent/child relationship and enable the parents to develop effective parenting skills. This programme has a parents' educational stream and a stream with developmentally appropriate activities for the children. Observed outcomes have included the parents becoming more responsive to their children, increased treatment compliance, improved community access, and a decrease in the number of children in temporary foster care.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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