One of a Kind tells the story of children Darcy and Oliver, whose parents have a mental health condition, exploring complex issues in a safe, understanding, and compassionate way.
One of a Kind is a new book, and an Australian-first, that is now available to support young children who have a parent with a mental health condition and live in foster or kinship care, including children who have experienced trauma through family violence or witnessing drug and alcohol use.
The book is written and illustrated to help children better understand mental conditions and support conversations about their experiences.
Led by Monash Health and Alfred Health as part of the Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness (FaPMI) program, in collaboration with OzChild, the book is authored by Linda Espie and illustrated by Gwyneth Jones.
The FaPMI program is a state-wide service aiming to reduce the impact of parental mental illness on all family members.
Natalie Papps, a FaPMI Coordinator at Monash Health who co-edited the book, said, “after providing training to OzChild staff and carers, Monash Health and Alfred Health noticed there were no stories for children living in foster or kinship care who have a parent with a mental health condition, so we set out to create one.”
“When children read books, they often look for common ground and shared experiences with the characters. We hope this book supports adults and children to have important conversations.”
Initially, copies of the book will be distributed to foster/kinship care agencies and services, accompanied by training on how to use the book safely and effectively. You can also read the book below: