What are the Kidstime Workshops?
Multi-Family groups to improve the children’s resilience to parental mental illness. The whole family are encouraged to attend where possible; the parent or parents with mental illness, the non-ill parents, and the children. The groups include explanations of the mental illness for the children as well as drama sessions to represent their experiences. These sessions have been shown in a recent evaluation to significantly diminish the children’s levels of distress and disturbance and to improve the caring approaches adopted by the parents.
“Kidstime takes action on helping us learn about metal health in really fun ways. We use a lot of drama to help us figure out our own thoughts and feelings about our parent’s difficulty. This makes it easier for us to express things in a way that is interesting and easy to understand. Kidstime is never boring! Child, Wirral Kidstime.”
1 in 6 children will experience parental mental illness, and remain the most neglected group in the social care field.
70% will suffer mental health and other difficulties as a result. Understanding the illness, discussing it in the family, and having to supportive adult to talk to, can increase children’s resilience and help to protect their own mental health. Parents reported that attending the workshops have improved their confidence and pride as parents and even helped to reduce their risk of relapse.
The Aims of the Kidstime Workshops:
1. To help the children and young people gain explanations of their parents’ mental illness and its effect on the parent’s behaviour, in a way that they can understand.
2.To address the children’s various fears, confusion, and lack of knowledge about mental illness and its treatment
3.To help the parents who suffer from mental illness to find a medium within which the illness and its impact can be discussed between themselves and their children
4.To help the parents to access or rediscover their pride, confidence and competencies as parents
How the Kidstime Workshops are run:
The Kidstime workshops are monthly groups of 2.5 hours for up to 15 families where a parent has a mental illness.
They are ‘non-treatment’ educational interventions which help to diminish the social isolation, stigma, confusion, and
fears which a child of a parent with mental illness may experience.
They include a drama workshop where the children create a short film to help them express their stories or fears. This is followed by discussion with the parents and children of the films the children have made.
They have been shown in a recent evaluation to diminish children’s anxiety and parental guilt, and to encourage play.
The Core Components of a Kidstime Workshop:
To create an environment which enables a mixture of informal & intimate relations combined with a professional responsibility to protect both young people & adults.
“…If Kidstime was available to me when I was younger, I believe things would have been different and I wish that was the case.… I don’t want to see children suffer the same things in life that I have had to deal with… Ambeya, 19”
To find out more about how to set up and run Kidstime Workshops please contact us here for more details.