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Home > Practice Areas > Parenting > Creating Parenting-Rich Communities


Data Sources on Parents

Parents with Mental Illness

The National Mental Health Association is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit organization addressing all aspects of mental health and mental illness. One publication of interest available on the website is When a Parent Has a Mental Illness Issues and Challenges. Also available for download are fact sheets on several mental illnesses that affect children, adults, and older alders. Advocacy publications and reports are also provided.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides
  • information on child and adolescent psychiatry,
  • fact sheets for parents and caregivers,
  • AACAP membership,
  • current research,
  • practice guidelines,
  • managed care information,
  • awards and fellowship descriptions,
  • meeting information, and much more.
One publication of interest is the fact sheet Children of Parents with Mental Illness.

Prepared for the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Critical Issues for Parents with Mental Illness and their Families is an in-depth research-based publication that outlines the effects of mental illness on parenting and family life as it varies with the age at onset, severity, and duration of the illness, and the nature of any consequent impairment in parental functioning, as well as with the strengths and resources of parents and family members. It includes
  • discussion of the prevalence of ignorance and misinformation about mental illness, pregnancy, and parenting; and

  • how the ways services are organized and policies are implemented compromise outcomes for children and adults, including reference to innovative and promising programs being developed to enhance outcomes for both children and parents.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in collaboration with the states, has identified 10 domains as National Outcome Measures in the area of mental health.

The first domain is decreased symptoms of mental illness with improved functioning. Four domains focus on resilience and sustaining recovery--these include getting and keeping a job or enrolling and staying in school; decreased involvement with the criminal justice system; securing a safe, decent, and stable place to live; and social connectedness to and support from others in the community such as family, friends, coworkers, and classmates. Two domains look directly at the treatment process itself in terms of available services and services provided. Another is decreased inpatient hospitalizations for mental health treatment. The final three domains examine the quality of services provided. These include client perception of care, cost-effectiveness, and use of evidenced-based practices in treatment.

CWLA Services and Supports
CWLA provides direct support to agencies that serve children and families and improves the quality of the services they provide to more than 9 million children every year. CWLA produces programs, publications, research, conferences, professional development, and consultation. Information on behavioral health is available at

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