Children of Parents with Mental Illness

Promoting better outcomes for children and
families where a parent experiences mental illness

VIDEO: Ryan Thomas Speaks

From Alienated Child to Reunited Son.
Does Your Alienated Child Love You?


Dads in Distress               Australia wide

Mums in Distress              Australia wide
Relationships Australia      Australia wide
Dad’s Landing Pad            Perth, WA

"Keep loving your kids, keep living your life & never give up.

Keep being the fun loving parent your child will always be attracted to"

​~ Amanda Sillars (Founder)


Family Relationship Advice Line call  1800 050 321

Monday to Friday - 8 am to 8 pm

Saturday - 10 am to 4 pm (local time), except national public holidays.
International callers: +61 7 3423 6878

The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service established to assist families affected by relationship or separation issues.
The Advice Line provides information on family relationship issues and advice on parenting arrangements after separation. It can also refer callers to local services that can provide assistance.
The Advice Line complements the information and services offered by Family Relationship Centres. It ensures that people who are not able to attend a Centre can be helped.


Beyond Blue - All calls and chats are one-on-one with a trained mental health professional, and completely confidential.

Support, Advice, Action

Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

1300 22 4636

Suicide & Crisis Support

LIFELINE 13 11 14

Many alienated parents experience significant financial and emotional costs associated with trying to find a resolution in a legal system and mental health services that do not understand parental alienation.

What to Do

  • Understand what parental alienation is and its consequences.
  • It is very important to engage in self-care practices and find a balance in life. This means using mindfulness techniques, eating well and exercising. Looking after you.
  • Join a support group. (Our organisation runs and Australian "secret" Facebook support group for Australian based parents)
  • See a psychologist that can give you tools to cope.
  • Establish healthy boundaries.
  • Avoid emotion-laden communication with your child. Understand your child is in a difficult situation with likely no tools to cope with the situation. They are already under emotional pressure so it’s important not to add to the situation and not to make them feel guilty or they will retract more.
  • In communications stay focused on the child, not yourself. Acknowledge their feelings but don’t argue. This will make matters worse.
  • Ask questions about their interests or hobbies, their achievements and future plans. Ask them to share photos or tell you about their projects at school.
  • Create a space where they can think and feel for themselves when they are with you.
  • Never talk bad about the alienating parent. Alienated children are very protective of the alienating parent.
  • Most important, believe in you and never give up

There are often days where you might feel like you cannot cope. Remember that your child needs you and you need to stay healthy minded. The situation can change but you need to be ready.

Consequences for alienated children

Alienated children display unjustified contempt for the alienated parent and an attitude of entitlement towards the alienated parent. They are taught to have a perception of an “all-wonderful” alienating parent and “all-bad” targeted parent. As a result, alienated children experience disrupted social-emotional development as a consequence of parental alienation.

Alienated children experience complex grief for the loss of a parent who is still alive. Because this loss is the result of emotional manipulation, alienated children experience psychological difficulties associated with this type of trauma and abuse.

Parental alienation causes emotional pain for children.

The long-term outcomes of parental alienation on children include: social isolation, fragile sense of self, anger, depression and anxiety.

The Impact of Parental Alienation on Parents

by Dr Edward Kruk [02 May 2013]

The key to engaging alienated parents is to validate their parental identity, and combine advocacy efforts with counseling focused on enhancing their role as active and responsible parents.

Your kids need you more than ever, even if they can’t yet tell you that.

The Impact of Parental Alienation on Children

Undermining Loving Parent-Child Relationships as Child Maltreatment
by Dr Edward Kruk [25 Apr 2013]

We’ve been through mountains of academic and legal paperwork to provide easy access to some of the most useful legal documents, works in psychology and other resources to try to help you through the legal minefield and the psychological nightmare…​

Coping with the Trauma of Parental Alienation
by Craig A Childress Psy.D. [03 Apr 2015]