Predictors of Workforce Attitudes to Including a Child Perspective in the Treatment of Mentally Ill Parents
Children of parents with a mental illness are at risk of developing mental health problems themselves (Beardslee, Versage & Gladstone, 1998; Hosman, van Doesum, & van Santvoort, 2009; Reupert & Maybery, 2007). In order to prevent children of mentally ill parents from developing serious problems, it is therefore beneficial to include a child perspective in the treatment of mentally ill parents by identifying the children of patients, and supporting patients in their parenting role. Norwegian authorities have in 2010 made several changes to existing health legislation (the Health Personnel Act) in order to increase early identification of children who have parents with a mental illness including making it mandatory to assess whether or not patients have children. Negative attitudes to including a child perspective in adult mental health care is regarded as an important barrier in the work of establishing routines to identify and support children of mentally ill parents, and the key to achieving change may be the professionals in the workforce.
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