When your patient with a mental illness is a parent

Parents' mental illness can have a significant impact on their children. These patients often turn to GPs first for support regarding their parenting concerns

Mental health issues among parents are common, with Australian data suggesting that more than one-quarter of parents experience moderate to severe psychological distress.1

This article looks at the impact mental illness has on both parenting behaviour and children, and suggests how GPs can identify and support parents with mental health concerns and their families.

Key Points
  • More than one-quarter of parents report moderate to severe levels of psychological distress.
  • Parents experiencing mental health concerns are less likely to turn to family for initial support but are more likely to seek advice from GPs about raising children.
  • Mothers and fathers are