So that's why when I heard about Project Parent I knew that I had to get involved. Project Parent is an initiative through Student Minds, the UK's student mental health charity, that aims to support parents when their child is suffering from a mental health condition. Parents are often overlooked and don't actually receive much support themselves - and some of them find it very difficult to know how to help their child. This support can be even more difficult to give when their child is living away from home at university.
I know that my parents have struggled with my depression at times, which is completely understandable - it must be so awful to see your child going through something so horrendous that makes them hate themselves and not want to exist anymore. I wish that they had been able to get more support at times when they needed it, even if it was just someone to say that they were doing an amazing job.
Student Minds have developed a set of resources for Project Parent, which will include:
- Creation of an information pack for parents
- How to start a conversation about mental health difficulties
- A motivational approach to support; switching advice with listening skills designed to empower
- Accessing support at University; understanding the landscape of university support services and how a student can access these
- Empowering and nurturing relationships; growing comfortable with boundaries and avoiding co-dependency
- Moving back and forth; managing the transitions between home and university
- Adapting to a new relationship structure; coping with change in roles and responsibilities
However Student Minds need funding to be able to roll out this initiative across the UK. Aviva Community Fund is currently running a competition for local community projects to win funding, and YOU can help. All you need to do is log onto this page, and you will automatically be given 10 points to vote with. You can then allocate these points to Student Minds - it is completely free.
You can find out more information about Project Parent through this YouTube video.
Click here and log in to vote for Student Minds now!
I think that Project Parent is really important because it gives something back to the people that love unconditionally; that support unconditionally; and that are on the end of the phone when you can't stop crying at 2.30am, unconditionally. Parents often seem indestructible but mental health affects them too - please vote for Project Parent and make a difference to thousands of mums and dads' lives.
One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.