The first-ever dedicated online support community for parents living with mental health issues was launched this week, entitled Parents First.
Website founder, Rob Palmer, said: "While much work has been done nationally to lift the stigma of mental illness, the issue of parenting by a mentally ill mum or dad remains to cloud society's understanding.
"Stigma [of mental illness] may keep many parents from seeking the help they need, particularly in cases where they are afraid of losing custody of their children. Being labelled with a psychiatric disorder can profoundly and negatively affect the experiences of parents, as well as the whole family."
Having experienced living as a single father with bipolar disorder, Rob set up the site to help the more than 6 million parents the NSPCC estimates have experienced mental illness at some point in their life.
"My greatest fear as a parent living with mental health problems is, that I will be separated from my son," Rob added.
"As well as being a listening ear and supportive arm, there could well be experiences within the online community, where a member has needed to work through similarly dark times and had a positive outcome."
The new site is an especially welcome boost to older parents, after a Danish study recently found that children born to a parent over 35 are at greater risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.
Click here for the full story from JFHC on the study from the University of Aarhus School of Public Health.
For more stories on mental health visit our sister site www.mentalhealthtoday.co.uk
Posted 09/02/2012 by email@example.com