Our Time is a charity that supports children and young people who are living with parents or carers who have mental health problems.
There are an estimated 3.7 million children in the UK living with a parent with mental health problems. Without support, 70% of these children and young people are at risk of developing mental health problems themselves by the time they are teenagers.
The charity focuses on prevention and works to strengthen relationships and social networks, and reduce stigma so that children and young people can develop resilience and achieve better education, employment, health and life chances.
Our Time also runs educational programmes at schools and campaigns for greater support at local and national level.
The charity helps children like *Liam who is 10 years old and a young carer. He has been attending the KidsTime Workshop with his mum who is diagnosed with a mental illness.
Liam’s mum told us:
“Liam is more aware of my mental health issues due to this group and he understands that he is not the cause of it. He also sees that we are not the only family affected by mental health issues.
We’ve learned that it’s OK to talk. As a mother, your first instinct is to protect your children and it’s hard sometimes to reach out, knowing that you are going to be judged. But it’s okay to talk – actually, there are people who will listen, and I think you can feel quite isolated, dealing with the demands of everyday motherhood.
KidsTime Workshops have helped me by being with a group of people who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems. It is a space to discuss things that are going on in a friendly and more of an informal manner, knowing that you have support and that you’re not alone and that other people can relate to you.
KidsTime Workshops have helped me and my son to learn about my mental health together.”
Global’s Make Some Noise is proud to support the charity’s ‘Ealing Kidstime Workshop’ project which will provide monthly workshops to bring together families of children and young people, aged 5-18, who have parents or carers with mental health problems.
These workshops aim to help families talk about and understand the impact of parental mental illness on children and young people and work to reduce stigma and social isolation.
They provide a locally accessible space for affected families to get the support they desperately need to look after their children despite living with a mental health problem.
Families have access to trusted specialists and through the use of drama and creative activities these workshops help the children to represent, explore and understand their experiences and develop appropriate coping strategies.
With your help, we can support projects like this one and many more across the UK.
*This young person’s name has been changed to protect their identity.