FamilySmart® sent a survey out to 50 families in our provincial network in June 2018 and had 37 families complete the survey. Questions asked were similar to the questions asked through other consultations conducted by the Ministry of Mental Health & Addictions.
Overwhelmingly, the one thing that was raised by all 37 families is how parents are viewed, treated and often seen as contributors to their child or youth’s mental health challenges, rather than an important contributor to their child and youth’s mental health. Our organization can confirm that we also hear this from most families that connect with us.
While there are some children and youth who do not receive the support, caring, or help they need from their parents, most children and youth do. In spite of this, and supporting literature about the benefits of family engagement, and the fact that youth turn to their parents for help (second to their friends), many parents are talked about and viewed as deficits to their children and youth who are experiencing mental health challenges. Supporting and enhancing child and youth mental health MUST include supporting the families who are walking alongside their children and youth who are struggling. The families who took part in this consultation, and the many families we have connected with for 18 years are asking to be seen, heard and treated as assets to their children and youth and included as a caring member of the team for a child or youth struggling with mental health and/or substance use challenges.
Read the full report here.