AUDIO | More than half a million of Canada’s front line mental healthcare “workers” are less than twelve years old. They’re called COPMI…Children Of a Parent with Mental Illness…and there are 575,000 of them in Canada. Children who grow up with a parent who has mental health difficulties are at risk for a host of grave repercussions…among which a much higher risk of developing mental illness themselves and reproducing a potentially toxic pattern. These children are vulnerable to life-long disability and yet they are virtually invisible to our healthcare system.
Jessy Bokser, Sarah Leavens and Von Allan are all familiar with the “ups and downs” of living with a parent who suffers from mental illness. They appeared in a ground-breaking documentary film called “I Am Still Your Child”…written and directed by Canadian filmmaker Megan Durnford in 2017. The documentary is available for viewing online — just go to iamstillyourchild.com for the links.
In September 2018 Sarah Leavens’ mother Marie and Von Allan joined Megan Durnford and Rebecca Heinisch (the author of Anna and the Sea, it’s a book for children with a parent suffering from mental illness) for a public screening of the documentary “I Am Still Your Child.” After the screening, they participated in a panel discussion hosted by Action on Mental Illness Quebec for its Edith and John Hans Low-Beer Memorial Lecture. The event was called Young Carers in the Spotlight and it was held at Montreal’s Concordia University. The panel was moderated by Loreen Pindera from CBC Montreal.
People First Radio shared audio from the panel discussion Young Carers in the Spotlight.