COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) Capacity Building ‘Stories from the Real World’ In 2001 the national COPMI initiative to promote better outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness was announced, with the following objectives: Development and uptake of good practice principles and guidelines for services and people working with children of parents with a mental illness around Australia Availability to children of parents with a mental illness and their families, and to people working with them, of appropriate resource materials in line with the good practice principles and guidelines Provision of high quality information to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing to enhance future policy development regarding children of parents with a mental illness and their families. In 2004, Phase 2 of the project commenced, with a primary goal of increasing awareness and uptake of the ‘Principles and Actions for Services and People Working with Children of Parents with a Mental Illness’ (AICAFMHA 20041). The ‘Stories from the Real World’ activity aims to share knowledge and experience from services and individuals who are working towards building the capacity of relevant organisations and workforces to respond to the needs of children of parents with a mental illness and their families. This capacity building is occurring in a number of ways including Workforce Development (e.g. in-house training, course development, professional supervision systems) Resource Allocation (e.g. establishment of ‘copmi’ positions, availability of information, ‘family friendly’ spaces) Organisational Development (e.g. policies and plans, information systems). People and organisations have been invited to ‘tell their capacity building story’ within a specified brief template* suitable for placement on the AICAFMHA website, but contact details may be provided by the storyteller to assist those who wish to learn more from the storyteller’s experience. Further information about specific programs (e.g. camps, peer support groups, parent support groups) and resources (e.g. books, pamphlets, videos) for use with children and family members can be found on the project website at http://www.copmi.net.au. *The template is based on a concept developed by the Australian Health Promotion Association, Queensland Branch, 2001, expanded by the South Australian Branch in 2002 and 2003 (see examples at http://www.healthpromotion.org.au). REFERENCES 1. AICAFMHA. Principles and Actions for Services and People Working With Children of Parents With a Mental Illness. Stepney, SA: Australian Infant Child Adolescent and Family Mental Health Association Ltd, 2004.
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