Mummy, Is Your Brain Okay?
Written by Jess Carey
Illustrated by Rebecca Mignone
About the Book
Everyone feels sick, sometimes.
Brains feel sick, too. Like my mummy’s brain.
And when mummy’s brain is sick,
it can do some strange things…
A visual journey of a mum’s mind through a child’s eyes, Mummy, Is Your Brain Okay? gently explains the difficult and unwelcome effects of mental illness.
Mental illness can be quite a difficult concept for a child to grasp – they can’t see inside someone’s head, after all! And with research estimating that 20% of mothers experience postnatal depression(1), and almost a quarter of Australian children have a parent with non-substance mental illness(2), it’s something we need to be able to talk about with our children. The good news is that research has indicated that children can actually build their resilience when they understand their parent’s mental illness(3).
Mummy, Is Your Brain Okay? was designed to help children understand some of the things that can happen when their parent has a mental illness, that they can’t necessarily control (from cereal dinners because the groceries were forgotten to hospitalisation). But more importantly, it was written to show that a parent’s mental illness is in no way their child’s fault or responsibility.
In removing the stigma of mental illness by talking about it with our children, we can empower parents to take better care of themselves. And we can remind children they are still very loved, while giving them an understanding of the world around them that they so crave.
PRAISE FOR Mummy, Is Your Brain Okay?
- Categories: Picture books, Children, Mental illness
- # of Pages: 32
- ISBN: 9798210344182
- Language English
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Perinatal depression: data from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey. Canberra: AIHW.
2. Maybery, D., Reupert, A., Patrick, K., Goodyear, M., & Crase, L. (2009). Prevalence of parental mental illness in Australian families. Psychiatric Bulletin, 33(1), 22-26.
3. Beardslee W, Podoresfsky D (1998) Resilient adolescents whose parents have serious effective and other psychiatric disorders: Importance of self-understanding and relationships. The American Journal of Psychiatry 145:63–9. as cited in RANZCP Position Statement 56: Children of parents with mental illness. Published May 2016.