Creating hope for children, adults and families. #LiftingTheLid


Support our ‘Bringing Back The Sunshine’ project and help the world’s forgotten children …

sunshineSupport our ‘Bringing Back The Sunshine’ project and help the world’s forgotten children …

In the U.K, the USA, and throughout the world, far too many young children and teenagers live difficult, desperate lives. Many of them suffer extreme poverty and hardship because one or both of their parents or guardians suffers with mental health problems.

These are the forgotten children. The ones who sacrifice their childhoods to care for their parents.

Mental illness doesn’t just affect the sufferer, it has an adverse impact on loved ones, particularly children. So The Shaw Mind Foundation has made it a priority to find these children, wherever they are in the world, and support them.

In the UK:

  • Between 50% and 66% of parents with a severe and enduring mental illness live with one or more children under 18. That amounts to about 17,000 children and young people in the UK.
  • About 175,000 young carers in the UK are caring for a parent or other family member with mental health problems.
  • 68% of women and 57% of men with a mental illness are parents.
  • 10% of all female patients have a child under one year old.
  • 25% of women referred for mental health treatment have a child under five years old.

In the USA and Australia:

  • In the USA, in excess of 2 to 3 to million children are currently living in households with parents with psychiatric conditions
  • Just under 60,000 children in Australia are living with a parent with a severe mental illness.

Effects on children

Many children will grow up with a parent who, at some point, will have some degree of mental illness. Most of these parents will have mild or short-lived illnesses, and will usually be treated by their doctor. Some children live with a parent who has a severe and enduring mental illness (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) and therefore experience greater levels of emotional, psychological and behavioural problems than other children and young people. This may be because the genes that some of them inherit make them more vulnerable to mental ill health, but it could also be because of their situation and the environment in which they are growing up.

Those suffering with a severe illness are more likely to live in hardship and poverty, which in turn can affect their children’s mental health. Their children may also feel insecure and anxious that their parent will become unwell. They will also have to live with the stigma attached to mental ill health and of course they may be bullied at school.

As well as worrying about their parent(s), children may be hesitant to ask for help as they fear that they will be taken away from their parent(s). Children may become carers for their parents and lose out socially and educationally.

Whilst 20% of the general child population is estimated to develop a mental health problem, this figure increases to between 25-50% for those children of parents with severe mental health problems.

Join us. Help us give these children and their parents the help they need. The system may have failed them, but we can give them a brighter future.

Our projects are not possible without your generous support.



Any size donation, no matter how small, will make a difference to those children, adults and families going through the distress caused by mental health issues.

© 2017 - The Shaw Mind Foundation - We're a registered charity in England (no. 1167947), and a registered company (no. 09921207) in the UK.

We can all change the game on mental health recovery. It’s time for a new way of thinking to make recovery inevitable for all. Join the movement #letsdostuff

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