Mind comments on ‘What about the children?’ report

A report published by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission has looked into how well adult mental health services and drug and alcohol services considered the impact on children when their parents had mental health problems and/or drug and alcohol problems.

‘What about the children?’ identified that parents with mental health problems are often not well supported with their parenting, and that there was little join up between adult and children’s services. This led to many families being less well supported than was the case within drug and alcohol services. The report recommended that mental health services referred families to children’s services where parents’ mental health problems would have an impact on children.

Commenting on the report, Sophie Corlett, Mind’s Director of External Relations, said:

“This report highlights what many people with mental health problems know – that services often fail to consider them as parents or carers, or indeed as people with jobs and other aspects to their lives. As a result, people can find that they do not receive the support they need to be the parents they want to be. However, the possibility of a referral to social services may be counterproductive and deter people from being open about their mental health problems, so it is important that this is done positively and with the involvement of parents themselves.

We know that mental health services fall well below the level of physical health services, and this report clearly shows the knock on impact for children, when mental health services don’t meet their parents’ needs. Mind hopes that the gaps highlighted in this report will help local commissioners put mental health on a par with physical health.”