Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

When a parent has a mental illness...

Rehabilitation Services


Did you know that there are lots of children who have a parent who might take medicine for feeling sad, getting very angry for no reason, not wanting to join in with things or saying and doing strange things?

That may be because they have a mental illness. Did you know that 1 in 12 children has a parent who is unwell in this way? No-one really knows exactly what happens in the brain when people have an illness like this. The films below give an idea of what might be going on for some.

VIDEO: When a parent has a mental illness...

This video features young carers talking about their lives caring for a parent with mental illness. Aimed at young carers, the video is narrated by Chineye and explains in a simple and visual way how the brain works and what happens when things go wrong.

This video was produced by Dr Alan Cooklin with funds from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Images of Psychiatry Campaign.

Download the wmv file  (right-click button and "Save As").


FILM: Tulisa - My Mum and me

An hour long documentary film about singer/songwriter Tulisa Contostavlos's life as a young child and teenager growing up with her mother who has schizoaffective disorder.

Read our Minds on Film Blog by Dr Joyce Almeida


Back to homepage

Login - Members Area

If you don't have an account please Click here to Register

More information for and about young people

Related Information


Read me


For a catalogue of public education materials or copies of our leaflets contact: 

Leaflets Department,

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 

21 Prescot Street, London E1 8BB. 

Telephone: 020 7235 2351 x 2552

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is a charity registered in England and Wales (228636) and in Scotland (SC038369).


©  March  2017 Royal College of Psychiatrists

Due for review March 2020.