Supporting Parents Healthy Children (SPHC) is a Ministry of Health guideline for all Mental Health and Addiction services within New Zealand. The purpose of SPHC is to support parents, children and families/whanau where a parent experiences mental health or addiction challenges.
The West Coast DHB is working towards implementing the guideline, with many of our local community support services already being well under way.
Below you can find links to helpful and informative resources for parents, tamariki and whānau. Many of these booklets and tipsheets are available in hardcopy. You can email email@example.com or ask your case manager if you have one.
Tips, guides and info sheets
Information for Children & Young People / Tamariki & Rangatahi
Living Well is a resource for family, whānau and friends of people using alcohol and other drugs. It provides suggestions, strategies and ideas about how families, whānau and friends can look after themselves during difficult times.
This booklet is for women with a mental health problem or mental illness (and their partners) who are thinking about having a baby, are new parents or are about to have a baby. The booklet contains helpful ideas you can use from the time you are thinking of having a baby up to when your child is two – three years old.
This booklet is for people living with a mental health problem or mental illness, whose children are aged between 2 and 7 years. It’s also for partners, family and friends. It contains helpful ideas about being the best parent you can when you’re not as well as you’d like to be and ways to support your child’s development during their special early years.
Tips and information for families where a parent has a mental health problem or disorder.
These booklets were produced in Australia and include contact numbers and helplines based in Australia. You can find some of our local contacts here.
This plan is for parents to record their wishes regarding supports for their child/ren should the parent need a period of time in a residential/rehabilitation/inpatient service in the future.
Talking with your child about mental health and addiction issues
This information sheet provides advice and suggestions for parents for talking with their child/ren about the parent’s mental health or addiction issue
Parenting Through Challenging Times
Parenting through challenging times aims to support parents or carers to talk to their children/tamariki in an age appropriate way about challenges that might be occurring in the family and whānau; and build healthy strong relationships with their children/tamariki.
The booklet also includes four stories from parents who experience mental health and/or addiction challenges, and how they deal with these alongside parenting. It also provides a range of further support options so parents can access further help if required.
All tipsheets originally developed by Emerging Minds in Australia and adapted for New Zealand families and whānau.
Tipsheet ‘Baby’ – Connecting with your baby when you are experiencing a mental health issue
This resource helps you to connect with your baby when you are experiencing mental health challenges so that they feel secure and nurtured. It steps you through:
Tipsheet ‘Toddler’ – Communicating with toddlers when you are experiencing a mental health issues
This resource will help you to connect with your toddler or young child when you are experiencing a mental health issue so they feel secure and nurtured. It steps you through:
Tipsheet ‘Primary School Aged Children’ – Talking with primary school aged children about mental health issues
This resource helps you to prepare for conversations about your mental health with your child so that they have a better understanding of what is happening. It steps you through:
Tipsheet ‘Teenager’ – Talking with teenagers about mental health issues
This resource helps you to prepare for conversations about your mental health with your teenager so that they have a better understanding of what is happening. It steps you through:
How can I help my child – A guide
This guide has been prepared for parents who experience mental health issues.
It is intended to give you time to think about being a parent living with mental health issues and to help you find practical ways to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing of your child and family or whānau. Originally developed by Emerging Minds in Australia this guide has been adapted for New Zealand families and whānau.
Growing Stronger Together is a fun activity book for children aged 5-12 years old.
The book is aimed at children whose parents are either physically or mentally ill and is designed to help children understand illness.
Further information can be found at www.copmi.net.au:
Resources and information are available especially for young people who have a parent who experiences mental health or addiction concerns.
COPMI Australia has a fantastic website with a whole section dedicated to children.
It includes video clips and information from kids for kids.
You can find information about common mental health and addiction issues on the Mental Health Foundation website.
Page last updated: 11 February 2022
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