Motherhood in Women with Serious Mental Illness
Rockland Psychiatric Center, 140 Old Orangeburg Road, Orangeburg, NY, USA, .Psychiatric Quarterly (Impact Factor: 1.26). 05/2012; 84(1). DOI: 10.1007/s11126-012-9227-1
This study aimed to determine the prevalence of motherhood among inpatient females at a large state psychiatric hospital in suburban New York, as well as develop an understanding of the characteristics and needs of this unique population. Data on motherhood status was gathered from October 2010 through April 2011 via medical records. Data on custody status, frequency of contacts with children, and effect of mental illness on parenting was assessed through patient surveys and focus groups. 38.5 % of female inpatients were found to be mothers, almost half of whom reported at least weekly contact with children despite their inpatient status. The majority of identified mothers reported having maintained custody of their minor children and expressed great pride at being primary caretakers for their children, yet also emphasized the challenging effects of stigma associated with mental illness and parenting. A significant proportion of women at this psychiatric hospital were found to be mothers. Although acknowledged by some clinicians at the individual level, motherhood appears to remain a forgotten role systemically. Determining motherhood status and recognizing the varied roles our patients have is one more way mental health providers can model and promote recovery-oriented care.
- "Whilst parenthood is an important life role (Benders-Hadi et al. 2013) parental mental illness (PMI) may adversely impact children's cognitive, emotional, social, physical and behavioural development (Barker et al. 2012). Twenty five to 50 percent of children who have a parent with a mental illness will experience some psychological disorder during childhood or adolescence and 10 -14 percent of these children will be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder at some point in their lives (Beardslee et al. 2012). "
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ABSTRACT: Determining the parenting capabilities of individuals with severe mental disorders who are alleged perpetrators of child abuse or neglect is a profoundly difficult task. This article discusses the methodological shortcomings of some widely used assessment strategies and outlines the components of a comprehensive parenting competency evaluation for individuals with severe mental illness. Procedures identifying both risk factors associated with abuse or neglect and protective influences against child maltreatment are summarized. These procedures are illustrated by describing a Chicago-based parenting assessment team for parents with severe mental disorders.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: There is evidence that parents living with mental disorders have limited access to parenting support. We conducted a survey of mental health agencies in Ontario, Canada, to establish a benchmark from which progress in service availability can be evaluated, and to identify any barriers to availability in terms of program location and parent gender. Method: We surveyed 119 directors of community and inpatient mental health service agencies (54% response rate) and directors of 80 different agencies to which they referred clients for parenting support services (56% response rate). Respondents indicated the types of parenting support services they provided and the clientele they served. Results: The most common parenting support service in mental health agencies was referral to another agency. Individuals with mental disorders were eligible for services at the referral agencies on a case-by-case basis, and few agencies had programs for children. Parenting services were associated with the number of staff in the agency and with offering programs in urban or both urban and rural locations, which perhaps also indicates larger size of the organization. Agencies served fathers and mothers approximately equally, but child care was uncommon. Conclusions: Integrated clinical services for parents living with mental disorders are lacking. Such services should be designed to treat mental health as well as provide parenting skills intervention and practical support for parents, consistent with a recovery model.
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