Parent Mental Health


Mental health illness can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, health and income. Mental illness includes conditions like anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia and antenatal and postnatal depression.

Parenting is both a rewarding and overwhelming job for anyone but it adds extra challenges for people with a mental health condition. When a parent has a mental health problem it does not automatically mean that a child will be affected negatively in any way or experience abuse. It will all depend on how the mental illness affects the parent’s behaviour and the extent to which the parents’ symptoms interfere with positive parenting such as their ability to show interest in their child will determine the risk.

Mental illness can affect school age children in various ways. One outcome for children is the fact that they have to take on caring responsibilities which conflict with attending school and age appropriate activities. Another is that is can affect their communication, academic achievements and social skills.

Some parents experience mental illness for only a short time, e.g. experiencing postnatal depression in the weeks of months after having a baby. For other parents it can be a lifelong experience and they need lifelong treatment to manage their illness.

Need support? NurtureConnect allows you to connect with our NurtureProgram support team, or call our 24 hour NurtureLine 1300 622 243 or join our Facebook community.


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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].