Children’s Mental Health Education Initiative
The Children’s Mental Health Education Initiative was developed to proactively support the needs of children whose parent of guardian suffers from a mental health condition.
The first resource developed is a childrens’ book titled ‘Do You Still Love Me’ which follows the story of Ashlee; a little girl whose father returns home from deployment and is later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress (Disorder).
This second resource is a book called ‘Still My Hero’ and is recommended for children aged 8 to 13 years old. It too has been written to support the children of military personnel who have a parent with PTSD. It is intended to support the children in their perceptual understanding of their experiences, their understanding of what PTSD is and the causes and symptoms of PTSD.
Many children who experience anxiety and depression do so because of experiences in their home environment. This story is told through the eyes of the child, which will encourage empathy from other children and insight for parents into how their child may be feeling.
This story will allow children to express their feelings and concerns and provide a platform for open discussion between parent and child. Through this discussion and understanding, it is hoped that any anxiety the child is experiencing will decrease and the love and bond between parent and child will be maintained and strengthened.
The book series was launched with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and has been celebrated by military families across Australia.