The Kidstime Approach

The Kidstime Foundation provides explanation-based interventions to children significantly affected by parental mental illness to increase resilience, reduce the risk of their developing mental ill health and improve life outcomes.

Wp alan board child 3

The Kidstime Foundation

In response to the ‘Keeping the Family in Mind’ conference, a group of professionals led by Dr Alan Cooklin began to develop Kidstime Workshops, an explanation-based, whole-family intervention aimed at developing children’s resilience to parental mental illness. The original Kidstime Workshops took place in Camden and Islington in 2000. There are now 7 Kidstime Workshops running in the UK and another 3 due to start. A further 2 are running in Spain, with 3 more due to start. Following this, TeenTalk Workshops have been developed, aimed at older children, and two earlier films aimed at both children and professionals produced.

The Kidstime Foundation was registered in 2012 to formalise this ongoing work. The foundation brings together former affected young people, nurses and psychiatrists, to develop programmes aimed at providing evidence-based, explanation-centred interventions to young people whose parents are experiencing severe mental ill health.

The foundation’s overriding aim is to increase understanding of mental illness amongst the general public, in particular but not exclusively by:

Educating professionals and the general public about the needs of children and young people who have a parent with a mental illness.
Developing educational tools and interventions to raise awareness of children’s needs in order to counteract stigma.

To this end the foundation:

Promotes resilience in the children who are affected by parental mental illness.
Promotes positive attitudes to mental health for affected young people.
Works to reduce the stigma associated with mental ill-health in general, and with children of sufferers.
Works to reduce the burden of emotional overload in vulnerable families.

“[Kidstime was important in learning that] It’s nothing to be ashamed of, to be embarrassed about.”

“There should always be an optimistic viewpoint on it, that’s what Kidstime has taught me.”

Uzma, Kidstime Workshop attendee