Open Discussion 

        • Children who have a parent with a mental illness should have opportunity to talk about their experience, worries and preoccupations. 
        • Accurate information should be shared with children based on their questions. 
        • Adults who have a parent with a mental illness benefit from information and support that recognizes their experiences and gives them a context and peers.

 Collaborative Efforts

        • Improvements in the lives of daughters and sons who have a parent with mental illness are invisible within current mental health and child welfare systems in the United States. 
        • The lives of daughters and sons who have a parent with mental illness will be best improved through collaborative policy and program development efforts across adult and children focused mental health and welfare systems.
        • Segmenting of populations within funding streams creates breakdown and disincentives to collaborative policy analysis and program change. 

Positive Change

        • Each individual has the potential to influence positive change, for another individual or for larger groups.
        • Recovery is possible and is a transformative process that involved making meaning from losses and difficult experiences.


        • Each person’s experience is unique, even if there are overarching experiences that unite us as a group.
        • Recognizing difference is important to authentic dialogue and listening.

Mental Health Stigma Busting

        • Stigma against people with mental illness, especially parents, has held millions of people in shadows of fear and shame.
        • Sharing normal, complex and nuanced stories of parents with mental illness and daughters and sons of all ages will combat common media coverage of stereotypical stories and will change societal perception of parents with mental illness and their daughters and sons.


        • Bonds and identity connections between parents and children are natural and important.
        • The role, experience and wisdom of children (young caregivers) and adults who are caregivers should be acknowledged and supported.
        • The recognizing the experience of adults with mental health experiences as parents is an area of huge opportunity – for the parents working toward their wellness and the professionals providing them support.