Debenham mother shares her experiences to help parents using new support website
A mother from Debenham has used her own personal experience of caring for her daughter to contribute to a new online resource to help other parents whose children may be having a mental health crisis.
Anne Humphrys, who is also an elected Carer Governor (Suffolk) at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, has shared the challenges she has faced to co-author four sections for a new online resource, MindEd for Families, which contains more than 35 new bite-sized e-learning topics, individually tailored to equip families with the skills to identify and support a child with a mental health condition.
I am delighted to be involved in such a useful online resource, having felt the frustration of being faced with dozens of results when trying to find urgent online advice at 2am to help my daughter, when all I wanted was one comprehensive website with all the information I needed
It also provides guidance on mental wellbeing.
She was invited to contribute to the new tool as a result of her work with YoungMinds, which is a charity committed to improving mental health for young people, and for who she provided feedback as to what help and support parents need.
“I am delighted to be involved in such a useful online resource, having felt the frustration of being faced with dozens of results when trying to find urgent online advice at 2am to help my daughter, when all I wanted was one comprehensive website with all the information I needed,” she said.
“The MindEd for Families website has been designed specifically to meet parents and carers’ needs, with parents like myself being invited to not only share our first-hand knowledge to build the website’s pages, but to also co-author the advice sections with a mental health professional. By using the personal experiences of parents like myself, this new website is able to give other mums and dads the information they need swiftly and in easy to understand language.”
Anne was asked to co-author sections about ‘Establishing parents support groups’ – she is co-founder of Parents and Carers Together, ‘What to do if you family is referred to social care’, ‘Finding reliable information’, and ‘Advocating for your child’.
“Many parents often find it challenging to advocate on behalf of their child and navigate their way through to the relevant mental health service because in the early stages of a crisis, a child can find it difficult to communicate their needs,” she added. “The MindEd resource not only makes understanding services easier but also gives parents advice about what practical steps they can take to help their child.”
Dr Raphael Kelvin, Child Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for the MindEd programme, said: “We know that up to three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder and half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Left untreated, these disorders have the power to impact on a child’s education and their ability to interact with others which can have a knock-on effect on employability and their lives as adults. That’s why giving families the knowledge and information to support early effective intervention is essential.
“We would not have been able to develop MindEd for Families without the support of parents and carers themselves. Learning from their experiences and the battles they faced enabled us to identify the key stages of a family’s journey, pin point the information that would be of most use to them and display it in a user friendly format that is most appropriate for parents and families.”
For more information, visit www.minded.org.uk/families