Enhancing support for the mental health of parents and carers of children with disability
The aim of this project was to produce two practical resources to prepare the disability services workforce to support the wellbeing of parents and carers of children (0-25 years) with a disability by raising greater awareness of strategies and activities to promote greater wellbeing. One resource was for parents and a second resource was a support guide for local area coordinators to ensure they have a good understanding of the resource and how to use it with families.
To access the resource, please see the NDIS website.
While all parents have heightened needs for support during their child’s life, parents and carers of children and young people with a disability experience additional challenges and stressors. These extra challenges are likely to require targeted action to help protect, promote and increase their mental wellbeing.
A practical resource (such as a leaflet) offers a cost-effective method of raising awareness about mental wellbeing, which can be disseminated by health professionals and service providers working with families. However, there are no brief, stand-alone Australian resources that primarily inform parents about the importance of looking after their own mental wellbeing
The resource was developed in partnership with parents and carers, youth with a disability, health and disability service professionals and academics. Interviews with 20 caregivers and 13 health and disability service professionals were conducted to inform the content and preferred format for the resource.
The resource provides practical solutions on how to engage in wellbeing-promoting activities and seek help in order to reduce the risk of poor mental health. It promotes empowerment by proving practical solutions in a validating, non-directive manner.
Given the wide uptake of this resource, we recommend that it is adapted and translated for use with parents and carers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and further developed as an online resource.
DisabilityCare Australia Practical Design Fund
- Dr Elise Davis, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
- Dr Kim-Michelle Gilson, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
- Lara Corr, Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program
- Shawn Stevenson, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
- Professor Dinah Reddihough, Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria
- Professor Katrina Williams, Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria
- Vale Professor Liz Waters, The Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program