Your loved one may be feeling like their psychological injury is a constant topic. As part of their recovery they may be talking with their Doctor, Psychologist, Case Manager, Return to Work Coordinator and Manager. After talking with all these people, your loved one may not feel like discussing it with you or family at home.
It can be challenging to feel like your loved one is not talking with you about what’s going on for them. You may experience feelings of tension, discomfort and confusion, particularly where children are involved.
Your kids may notice something has changed in their mum or dad’s mood and behaviour but they won’t necessarily understand why.
If you think your child would benefit from a conversation about their parent’s psychological injury, here’s how you can make the chat easier:
- Encourage your loved one to ask their mental health professional for tips on what to do or say and how to start a conversation
- Read websites like Children of Parents with a Mental Illness, which has plenty of information and resources
- Understand that children’s need for information changes as they develop and the older they are the more information they will be interested in
- There are also books out there that can help to explain the situation in a child-friendly matter
- To further support you, there are organisations like Kookaburra Kids who can help kids be kids while explaining in an age-appropriate manner what is happening
It is important to remember that your children love their parents. They will not think less of a mum or dad who experiences a psychological injury.
Reassure your loved one that sharing why they are feeling and acting the way they are can bring peace and comfort at home.
If you are in a situation in which suicide needs to be discussed with your child, the following resource may be useful https://everymind.imgix.net/assets/Uploads/Whentellingachildaboutsuicide.pdf