Å være forelder og psykiatrisk pasient: er det noe det snakkes om i akuttpsykiatrisk avdeling?
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Objective: The aim of this study was to examine if patients and employees (therapists) in anacute psychiatric ward did talk about their children and about being a parent and psychiatric patient. Background: Many psychiatric patients have worries about their children, and may blame themselves because of their parenting skills. These thoughts may extend and worsen the progress of the mental illness if the patients keep these thoughts to themselves. Children of mentally ill parents are at a risk to develop mentally problems, and it is therefore important to help mentally ill parents both with their parenting and with their psychiatric symptoms. Method: We asked 52 patients and 55 employees (therapists and environmental-therapists) in an acute psychiatric ward in St. Olavs University Hospital, Division of Psychiatry,Department of Acute Ward, whether they have been talking about being a mother / father andat the same time a psychiatric patient. Results: We found that most of the patients (90,2%) and the employees (87,0%) had been talking about the patients’ children. A smaller number of the patients (53,8%) and theemployees (81,5%) had been talking about being a psychiatric patient and mother / father. Conclusions: We conclude that the two populations in the psychiatric acute ward (in patients and employees) agree that they do talk about the patients’ children, but the mentally ill parents and the therapists have different perceptions of the conversations about being a parentand psychiatric patient. Relevance: It is worrying that only 53,8% of the patients had discussed /been talking about their role as a parent and psychiatric patient in the acute ward. To help both the children and the parents, it is important that the staff in the acute psychiatric ward use the opportunity to talk about the patients that are parents, not only about the children but also about the patients’role as a mother or father. To help the psychiatric patients both with their role as a parent and with their psychiatric symptoms it is important to talk about this while they are in the acute psychiatric ward. For some patients one therapeutic conversation will be enough, while others need more help, for the sake of the whole family. Maybe more patients and their families could be helped if the acute psychiatric ward defines rules to make sure that this parent-talk is done. To talk just about the children is not enough.