Supporting the mental health of parents who don’t see their children

The official theme for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2022 is loneliness. The loneliness caused by temporary or long-term separation from their children is very likely to affect the mental health of a parent.

We are therefore pleased to announce that we have just received funding to develop a new online/one-to-one hybrid training programme for parents experiencing this type of trauma, bereavement and loss.

We are very grateful to the Edinburgh Community Mental Health Support Fund and the Allen Lane Foundation for their support of this project.

In 2018 Barnardo’s Scotland and Shared Parenting Scotland delivered a very successful training and support programme in Dundee with fathers experiencing this type of separation.

This face-to-face training supported the group to be able to tell their stories within a safe and therapeutically supportive setting, enabling a process of increasing knowledge, confidence, resilience, self-awareness and therapeutic recovery from their experiences.  One trainee commented that course showed him “I am not on my own. There are things that can be done to improve most situations.”

In order to make this type of support more widely available across Scotland, we will develop a version of this course that can be accessed online, reinforced by a mixture of one-to-one and group support for participants.

The course will be launched in Autumn 2022.  Parents wishing to be put on the waiting list and also get more immediate support through our helpline should ring 0131 557 2440 or email