In This Episode:
Mental health professional Melissa Williams, Family Place Program Director at the Harman Center for Child and Family Wellbeing in downtown Minneapolis, has seen firsthand the impact of parental mental health on a child’s learning, development and mental health. She has focused on helping parents and children build a secure attachment, a foundation of human development that can put a child on a positive developmental pathway even in the face of challenges, including parental mental health problems.
She joins Marti & Erin in this week’s podcast to define concepts of mental health and various types of mental illness or disorders. She describes the ripple effect of parental mental health problems on a child, the whole family, and the community. Most important, Melissa discusses what can help both parents and children thrive and build positive coping strategies to navigate life’s ups and downs, even if a parent is living with mental illness. Her message is one of hope and promise, if we can ensure that children and families get the help and support they need, starting as early in life as possible.
Note: this is the first of a 3-part series on parental mental health brought to you by St. David’s in partnership with Mom Enough®. The second episode, to be posted on December 4, will address postpartum depression and anxiety. And the third episode, to air December 18, will discuss Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI) and ways to support parents and buffer the impact of SPMI on children’s immediate needs and lifelong development.
WHAT LINK DO YOU SEE BETWEEN MENTAL HEALTH AND PARENTING?
What new information or insights did you gain from this podcast? What were key elements of “mental health” as described by the guest? Could a person have those elements of mental “health” even if they have a diagnosed mental health disorder? Why or why not?