Celebrating World Mental Health Day: supporting parents of child abuse on their journey to healing

Today, 10 October 2023, we commemorate World Mental Health Day, a global initiative dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and supporting collective actions to improve mental well-being worldwide. This day serves as a platform for individuals and organisations working on mental health to contribute and discuss the essential steps to ensure accessible mental health care for everyone across the globe. In addition to these efforts, we also want to shed light on INHOPE's vital support for parents who have survived child abuse, recognising their unique struggles and providing them with essential resources.

Date 2023-10-10 Author BIK Team Section youth Topic media literacy/education Audience children and young people, organisations and industry, parents and carers
Woman in blue skirt talking to a young man in white shirt

Each year, World Mental Health Day has a specific theme focusing on different aspects of mental health. The themes are chosen to address relevant issues and raise awareness and challenges related to mental well-being.  

Mental health is a universal human right

This year’s theme: “Mental health is a universal human right”, aims to enhance knowledge, raise awareness, and drive actions that protect everyone’s mental health as a universal human right. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), people with mental health conditions continue to experience human rights infringements. Many face isolation and discrimination from their communities, and even more people struggle to access essential mental health care, often subjected to care that violates their fundamental human rights. Having a mental health condition should never deprive individuals of their human rights or exclude them from decisions about their health.

Supporting parents of Child Abuse on the Journey to Healing

When addressing mental health concerning child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sexual abuse material (CSAM), it is important to recognise the profound emotional impact these traumatic events can have on a person. This situation can affect a person’s social development and lead to long-term consequences. As we engage in this discussion, we must shed light on the effects of abuse on families.

While providing the necessary care for their children, parents desperately need assistance with their challenges and often struggle with the stigma associated with child abuse. Indeed, as children deal with their post-traumatic emotions following the disclosure of abuse, parents find it difficult to witness their children’s pain while navigating their own turmoil. Many parents blame themselves for not recognising the signs of abuse or their perceived inability to protect their children from harm. These thoughts can potentially cause emotional distress and impact parents’ mental health.

Understanding child abuse's effects on children and parents is crucial to breaking the cycle of silence. Parents need assistance to manage their emotional struggles while laying a solid foundation for their children's recovery. It is essential to seek professional help from mental health experts, therapists and support groups specialising in trauma and abuse.

If you are a parent or caregiver or know someone facing these difficulties, please ask for assistance. If you need support, locate your national Safer Internet Centres or contact a professional.


Learn more about World Mental Health Day on the website of the World Health Organisation, and keep an eye on #WorldMentalHealthDay on social media.  

This article references a recent INHOPE article and is reproduced here with permission. Read the full article on the INHOPE website.


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