Emerging Minds

Let's talk about children (Let's Talk)

About the course

Let’s talk about children (Let’s Talk) is a brief, evidence-based method that trains professionals to have a structured discussion with parents who experience mental illness about parenting and their child’s needs.

It aims to make this conversation a routine part of the alliance between parents and professionals where they can explore the wellbeing and development of children and how their parent’s mental illness is understood by them.

This course:

  • can be integrated into the recovery model
  • supports healthy parent-child relationships, promoting protective factors for the child’s wellbeing
  • is evidence-based, with demonstrated outcomes for parents, children and families
  • improves understanding of issues facing parents when they have a mental illness.


The Let's Talk approach

Module One provides an overview of the ’Let’s Talk’ discussions, the theoretical background, and the underpinning principles.

The preliminary discussion

This module explores the Preliminary Discussion of Let’s Talk with parents.

Understanding the child's everyday life

This module focuses on 'Discussion One' of the method, which utilises an age appropriate log to guide discussion about the child.

Planning for the future

This module focuses on Discussion Two of Let’s Talk, and an optional Parent Support Network Meeting.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed to provide introductory training to ‘Let’s talk about children’ for practitioners who work with families where a parent experiences a mental illness. This introductory course should be complemented by a face-to-face training session focusing on skill development and practicing the approach, as well as regular reflective practice support from trained Let’s Talk practice champions or supervisors.

It is expected that practitioners will have an understanding of the experiences and needs of children and families where a parent experiences a mental illness before completing this e-learning course.

The course is designed for professionals in:

  • adult mental health settings 
  • primary health care
  • non-government organisations
  • child mental health
  • child and youth services.

Learning aims

As you progress through this course, you will be working towards:

  • understanding the purpose and benefits of the Let’s Talk approach
  • understanding all stages of the Let’s Talk approach with parents
  • reflecting on strategies that can assist you to address parental hesitancy around engaging in Let’s Talk
  • reflecting on strategies and attitudes that can assist you to partner with parents in undertaking Let’s Talk
  • understanding the importance of a parent's view of their child’s strengths and vulnerabilities
  • understanding the benefits of family communication about parental mental illness
  • supporting parents to plan and facilitate a Parent Support Network Meeting, where appropriate.


It is estimated that this course will take you six hours to complete, including reading material and watching videos.

You can undertake the course across multiple sessions at your own pace. The last screen you visit before logging off will be bookmarked, and you will have the option of returning to that screen when you next log in.


This course features videos of fictional parents and family scenarios. As you work through the course, it is important to be aware of your own emotional responses. Please follow the self-care tips below and seek help if needed: 

  • We do not recommend undertaking the entire course in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you don’t feel that you need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later. 
  • Be aware of your emotions as you progress through the course, and take action if you are starting to feel stressed or upset. For example, consider taking a break and doing something for yourself that you enjoy. 
  • Be aware of your emotional responses after you complete the course. 

If at any point you find you are struggling, please talk with your supervisor, seek help, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263.


The terms mental health problem/difficulty/issue and mental illness are used throughout this course. They may not reflect the terminology used by parents to describe their experiences. Parents may have their own language that you will need to be sensitive to. Within this course, these terms have been used to describe:

  • Mental illness (when an individual’s symptoms meet criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder such as depression or schizophrenia).
  • Symptoms of mental health problems that do not meet diagnostic criteria.
  • Social stressors that often accompany symptoms or parenting in general.

The term Developmental Log is sometimes used in the video clips, as another way of describing the Logs used in Discussion One to assist exploring strengths and vulnerabilities across the different domains of the child’s everyday life.


This course draws on the latest research, clinical insights, and the lived experience of our child and family partners. We’d like to thank the professionals and families who played an integral role in shaping this course, generously offering their time, wisdom and unique perspectives.

A quick guide to Emerging Minds Learning

Watch the following video for a quick guide on how to navigate Emerging Minds Learning courses.

Ready to start learning?

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