WPA guidance on the protection and promotion of mental health in children of persons with severe mental disorders

Universidad del Valle (Colombia), Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, Colombia
World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) (Impact Factor: 14.23). 06/2011; 10(2):93-102. DOI: 10.1002/j.2051-5545.2011.tb00023.x
Source: PubMed


This guidance details the needs of children, and the qualities of parenting that meet those needs. Parental mental disorders can damage the foetus during pregnancy through the action of drugs, prescribed or abused. Pregnancy and the puerperium can exacerbate or initiate mental illness in susceptible women. After their birth, the children may suffer from the social disadvantage associated with severe mental illness. The parents (depending on the disorder, its severity and its persistence) may have intermittent or prolonged difficulties with parenting, which may sometimes result in childhood psychological disturbance or child maltreatment. This guidance considers ways of preventing, minimizing and remedying these effects. Our recommendations include: education of psychiatrists and related professions about the effect of parental mental illness on children; revision of psychiatric training to increase awareness of patients as caregivers, and to incorporate relevant assessment and intervention into their treatment and rehabilitation; the optimum use of pharmacological treatment during pregnancy; pre-birth planning when women with severe mental illness become pregnant; development of specialist services for pregnant and puerperal women, with assessment of their efficacy; community support for parenting by mothers and fathers with severe mental disorders; standards of good practice for the management of child maltreatment when parents suffer from mental illness; the importance of multi-disciplinary teamwork when helping these families, supporting their children and ensuring child protection; the development of child and adolescent mental health services worldwide.

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Available from: Juliet Nakku, Jun 27, 2014
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    • "The development of children over time is one of the continuing aims of psychological inquiry (Papp, 2012). According to the United Nations Convention of the " Rights of the Child, " a child should grow up in a family environment filled with happiness, love, and understanding to ensure a full and harmonious development of the child's personality (Brockington et al., 2011). Literature in the field of child "
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    • "These two different types of adverse developmental experience may see the child's inchoate affect regulatory capacities being overwhelmed again and again, possibly leading to long-standing psychological difficulties (Brown & Roberts, 2000; Winnicott, 1953, 1960; Zeitz, 1995). Maternal psychosis is typically associated with erratic parenting through dysfunctional cognition and diminished sensitivity to, and involvement with, the child (Brockington et al., 2011; Polkki et al., 2004; Wan & Green, 2009). However, maternal psychotic illness might also lead to hospitalisation and mother–child separation, exceedingly difficult experiences for children, especially very young children (Case, 2005). "
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    • "( i ) identification of parenting status and dependent chil - dren among adult clients ; ( ii ) a needs and well - being assessment of parents and family members , including children ; and ( iii ) the provision of support to address those needs , including referral to support services ( AICAFMHA 2004 ; Bannerman 2009 ; Brady 2009 ; Brockington et al . 2011 ; Evans & Fowler 2008 ; Foster 2010 ; Foster et al . 2005 ; 2012 ; Fudge et al . 2004 ; Heriot 2009 ; Liangas & Falkov 2014 ; Maybery & Reupert 2009 ; Mottaghipour & Bickerton 2005 ; Mowbray et al . 2001 ; Mullen 2009 ; Nicholson 2010 ; Nicholson & Biebel 2002 ; RCP 2011 ; Wan et al . 2008"
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