The Orienta Foundation presents an INNOVATIVE programme in the PRIMARY prevention of disorders in children whose parents suffer a mental illness
This group is at greater risk of psychiatric illness.
It is a pioneering programme in Spain, because of its interinstitutional character and the integrated and coordinated work being done by professionals from the mental health network for children, young people and adults.
Having a parent with a mental illness increases the risk of having social and behavioural issues during childhood, and mental health problems as an adolescent. With the aim of protecting this at-risk population, as well as their parents, the Orienta Foundation, Sant Joan de Déu Health Park and Benito Menni Healthcare Complex, through a collaborative alliance in the Mental Health of Catalonia Cluster, have been running the “Kidstime Barcelona” programme since 2014.
Innovative project in Spain
This innovative project is being implemented in an integrated and coordinated way by professionals in adult mental health from the Sant Joan de Déu Health Park and Benito Menni CASM, and in child and adolescent mental health from the Orienta Foundation, supervised by the team that created Kidstime in England.
Promote protective attitudes
The children of people with a mental health problem suffer from the stress associated with having to adopt the role of carer to their mentally ill mother or father.
They often lack self-confidence and feel confused due to their lack of knowledge of the mental illness and its treatments, as well as having difficulties in understanding the behaviour of their parents. As a result, the children are often poorly educated regarding their parents’ disorder and have little support.
In terms of the parents, they very often feel stigmatized and have difficulties understanding their children and providing appropriate response to their needs. They often suffer from feelings of fear, shame and guilt, and lack the confidence and skills needed to perform their parental duties.
The Kidstime workshops are aimed at giving a suitable response to the problems experienced by both mentally ill parents and their children. They promote resilient (protective) attitudes, especially in recent years, to prevent possible mental disorders. They also focus on strengthening the family unit and creating positive relationships between family members.
To this end, the families are encouraged to speak openly of mental illness, as it has been proved to be harmful when parents try to conceal their mental disorder from their children. If parents, however, provide information regarding their illness, in a way that is suitable to their children’s age group, this allows them to take distance and identify with replacement images, thereby enabling them to better deal with their situation.
Since 2014, “Kidstime Barcelona” workshops have been run on a monthly basis in different municipalities of Baix Llobregat.
The sessions last for two hours and are structured in three parts. The first is multi-family. The second is carried out separately, a seminar for parents and psychodramatic activity for the children, in which an actor participates, who helps to stimulate the group dynamics. This is often recorded on video. The third part is carried out with a multi-family closing group, with the aim of sharing what has been worked through and the video is shown and refreshments are served.
High level of satisfaction
The three organizations that promote “Kidstime Barcelona” conducted a qualitative survey with participants in the workshops during 2014-2015, which returned very satisfactory results, both for the adults and children and young people.
Of the 173 surveys completed, the overall satisfaction was 97% and around 80% considered the workshops to be beneficial when it came to talking about the mental disorder within the family. The Kidstime sessions activity that was most highly valued by parents was that aimed at improving emotional management. The children valued the dramatized and playful activities most highly, followed by those aimed at improving emotional management.
The Kidstime Barcelona group offers:
Training courses to run workshops
An application manual
Workshop info sheets
The teaching team, which has four years’ training, is in process of being certified as a teaching team of the KidsTime Foundation.
The Orienta Foundation collaborates with different institutions and organizations, both on the national and international level: