Workforce capacity to respond to children whose parents have a mental illness

Darryl Maybery, Andrea Reupert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    83 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The first of the three objectives of this study was to identify the core barriers that impede adult mental health and other clinicians from working with patients about parenting and child-related issues. The second and third objectives were to rate the importance of these barriers and to compare barriers for adult mental health workers with other workers. Method: There were two data collection phases; the first, qualitative phase involved collecting verbatim responses from 60 mental health and welfare workers, regarding barriers about working with mentally ill patients about their parenting role as well as with their children. The second involved 32 participants, including 20 adult mental health workers and 12 other workers, responding to the scaled questionnaire items based on the qualitative barriers identified at phase one. Results: The most important barriers highlighted by workers were patients not identifying their illness as a problem for their children and patients denying that they had a mental health problem. All workers reported that it was part of their role to get involved with issues regarding their patient's children. In comparison to other workers, adult mental health workers reported time and resource limitations, as well as skill and knowledge deficits regarding parenting and working with children. Conclusions: The findings are discussed in relation to adult mental health policy and ongoing professional development, particularly for adult mental health workers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)657-664
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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