Supporting Parents, Healthy Children

Supporting parents with mental illness and or addiction and their children: A guideline for mental health and addiction services

Published online: 
29 September 2015
publication cover


Parents want the best for their children and these guidelines provide all mental health and addiction services, adult and child services alike, with the mandate to work in a family-focused way to help parents achieve this. This will ensure that the wellbeing of children is everyone’s responsibility, not just infant, child and adolescent services.

These guidelines support the children of parents with mental illness and addiction Government’s intention to improve outcomes for children and youth as set out in Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan 2012–2017.

Implementing Supporting Parents, Healthy Children will take time and an important part will be supporting the mental health and addiction workforce. The Ministry of Health has commissioned the mental health and addiction workforce centres to provide support to district health boards and other services on this important service change.

These guidelines include the voices of parents and young people talking about their experiences of services. The guidelines set out the essential and best practice elements of service design based on the evidence of what works to support both parents and their children.


There are resources that will help services to assess their readiness and progress during implementation of the guidelines and sample documents that can be adapted to use locally.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    29 September 2015
  • ISBN:
    978-0-478-44882-5 (print), 978-0-478-44879-5 (online)
  • HP number:
  • Citation:
    Ministry of Health. 2015. Supporting Parents, Healthy Children. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
  • Copyright status:

    Owned by the Ministry of Health and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

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