The impact of parental depression on children’s health and well-being has been widely studied and documented. Fortunately, there are very good treatments. One intervention is Family Talk, developed by Dr. William Beardslee. Family Talk is a well-studied evidenced-based intervention designed to help families identify the effects of parental depression, improve family communication about depression, and develop strategies to promote resilience in both parents and children. Family Talk takes a preventative approach by considering the effects of depressive symptoms on all family members. Click here to visit the Family Talk website.
The CBH Knowledge Center supported a project with Dr. Beardslee and his team at Children’s Hospital to work with South Shore Mental Health’s In-Home Therapy (IHT) program. Together, they adapted Family Talk for use in IHT and developed a cost-effective training approach tailored to IHT clinicians. IHT is designed to treat a youth’s behavioral health needs, including improving the family’s ability to provide effective support for the youth to promote his/her healthy functioning within the family and community. In their work with children, IHT clinicians often find themselves working with parents who are struggling with their own mental health concerns, including but not limited to depression.
A free online training in the Family Talk approach can be found at: www.fampod.org. Dr. Beardslee's team at Children's Hospital is also available to provide in-person training and coaching in the Family Talk model.
Dr. Beardslee collaborated with three other leading researchers to produce a toolkit for family service providers. Funded by SAMHSA, the toolkit is based on what has been learned from many scientific studies.