Let’s Talk About Children: Dissemination of a family focused intervention

Improved outcome for children of parents with mental illness has been demonstrated through family focused interventions. Despite this, there are many barriers to family focused intervention in mental health service delivery.

Let’s Talk about Children was developed for use with families in which a parent has a mental illness. It focuses on improving communication surrounding mental illness, identifying children’s needs and linking the family with additional support or interventions. It has been used with parents with a range of diagnoses. It involves two to three sessions with parents. Let’s Talk was developed in Finland by Prof Tytti Solantaus and was disseminated throughout the Adult Mental Health Service.

Through collaboration between the adult and child and youth mental health service, training in Let’s Talk has been offered. The feasibility of dissemination of an intervention such as this in the local context needed to be established.

Mary will focus on the response to offering training in the intervention to clinicians from a range of services. The results of a focus group discussion of barriers and enablers to a family focused intervention will be explored. Initial feedback with regard to the training offered and applicability to practice was positive.

There are particular issues related to the local context which need to be understood to assist in dissemination of a family focused intervention such as Let’s Talk.

Dr Mary Jessop, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Children’s Health Services, Royal Children’s Hospital will present at the:

13th International Mental Health Conference, “Positive Change — Investing in Mental Health”  6th to the 8th of August 2012, on the Gold Coast.