Gloucestershire KidsTime – building a multi-family community for families where a parent experiences mental ill-health

Fun and games are not the first things that most people would think of when it comes to talking about parental mental illness, however, that is a big part of what we aim for at KidsTime*. Creating a family-friendly environment, in which children and parents feel safe to talk together about parental mental illness, provides a setting in which children can build resilience and protect their own mental health.   

We are delighted to announce that we launched our first KidsTime group in Brockworth in September and, listening to feedback from the children and parents who have attended, it’s even better than we thought it would be.  

The workshops kick off with an interactive, mental health learning session for all the parents and children together. Then, whilst the adults gather to talk about parenting when you have a mental illness, the children head off to develop a short drama-based film based on mental health/mental illness. Following a pizza break, the children show their film to the adults, prompting a discussion about the issues raised by the film. 

The children have told us that they enjoyed ‘having fun’ and ‘making new friends’ 

Parents told us: ‘I’ve realised that the children understand so much more than we think they do’; ‘Although mental health is a serious topic it is good to have fun’; ‘We are building a community’; ‘People are really listening to each other’; ‘It was like a breath of fresh air’ 

KidsTime runs monthly in Brockworth. We are able to offer the workshops to ten families across the year.   

*KidsTime was developed and is licensed by Our Time, a charity that campaigns on behalf of and supports children of parents with a mental illness.