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Welcome to the course from your Lead Educator

Educators intro to the course
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Hello. I’m Dr. Gemma Lewis, and I’m a senior research fellow and lecturer in psychiatric epidemiology at the Division of Psychiatry in University College London, UCL. My main research interests are in depression and anxiety, so I investigate the causes, treatment, and prevention of these mental health problems. I also research self-harm and suicide. These mental health problems tend to first begin during adolescence, so much of my research focuses on children and young people and their families. There are three main issues with parental mental illness. The first is that mental health problems are often very common– so, for example, depression and anxiety. This means that many children, young people, and their families will be exposed to parental mental illness during their lifetime.
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The second issue is that many mental health problems are chronic, recurrent, and they can be very hard to treat. The other thing is that many people with mental health problems never seek treatment in the first place. So this means that children, young people, and their families can often live with parental mental illness and its consequences for long periods of time. And finally, there’s really strong evidence that parental mental health problems can increase the risk of mental health problems in the children themselves. And the consequences of parental mental illness are not just limited to an increased risk of mental health problems in the child. They’re broader as well.
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So they can increase the risk of poor educational performance, physical health problems, substance abuse, and there are social consequences, too. So for example, it can affect the child’s relationship with their parents. I’m delighted to have designed this course in partnership with Our Time. Our Time are the only charity in the UK dedicated to providing support to children, young people, and their families who are experiencing mental illness. I hope that this course will lead to you having a deeper understanding of the issues associated with parental mental illness and its consequences and that it equips you with the knowledge that you need to provide an improved level of support to children, young people, and their families who are experiencing parental mental illness.

Hello and welcome to the course!

Thank you for registering for this unique course on how to support young people living with and affected by parental mental illness. We look forward to guiding you through the next 4 weeks and hope that you enjoy the wide range of resources, activities and opportunities to discuss your thoughts with other learners.

By the end of the course, we hope you will be able to:

-Reflect on the challenges facing young people who have a parent with a mental illness.

-Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the issue and a greater sense of compassion.

-Explore attitudes towards mental illness in society and how this contributes to the stigma attached to this issue.

-Evaluate the most effective strategies, approaches and forms of communication to support young people who have a parent with a mental illness.

-Apply some of the strategies in your own professional environment.

-Explore a range of strategies and approaches that young people can implement themselves in order to build their resilience.

-Explore ways to take a systemic approach to support young people who have a parent with a mental illness.

In this video, you will meet your Lead Educator, Dr Gemma Lewis, who will explain more about her area of expertise and what we hope you will gain from the course.

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How To Support Young People Living with Parental Mental Illness

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