Someone in my family has mental illness (workbook for children/teens)

Children Services
Mental Health
Mental Health: Adults
Mental Health: CYP
Communication Skills

Posted: 19 December 2018

“Someone in My Family Has a Mental Illness” is designed to be used with children by counsellors, mental health
practitioners and other professionals in the community. It is also designed for parents and caregivers who wish to
educate their children about mental illness.
Counsellors, mental health practitioners and other professionals in the community are advised to obtain permission from
parents and caregivers before using this workbook. Parents and caregivers may want to review the contents prior to
giving their consent. Before using this workbook, it is recommended that children know the specific name of the mental
illness and the family member who is affected by it.
This workbook explores the symptoms of the major mental illnesses so that they can be understood by children aged
seven to fourteen. It can be adapted for different age groups depending on their stage of development and level of
maturity. The adult working with the children can use simpler explanations for younger children and expand with more
formal language for older children.
This workbook can be used in a variety of ways to educate children and their families. Here are some possible suggestions:
– Counsellor and child together
– Counsellor, parent/caregiver and the child
– Counsellor with the parent/caregiver
– Parent/caregiver and the child
– Various family members where everyone from siblings, parents and grandparents all learn together
Due to the complexity of the issues in this workbook, we recommend that it be completed over several sessions.
This workbook requires the use of various materials. The counsellor needs to have a supply of markers, crayons, coloured
pencils, elastic bands and scissors.

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