The question rarely asked...

“The question rarely asked”

Opening Conversations between Parents and Practitioners describes a workshop we ran with parents from PAMIS and practitioners from Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.  In the group there was an OT student who said how she valued the opportunity to talk openly with parents and ask questions.

One parent made a comment about getting to be ‘just a mum’ when her son went into residential care.  In response, the student asked what it meant to be ‘just a mum’.  There wasn’t much time to explore this in the workshop, but one of the parents thought about it afterwards, and sent us a poem she’d written to describe her experience of being ‘just a mum.’

The Very Empty Nest

by Pat Graham

What would I do if I didn’t have you
If truth be told, I just don’t have a clue
For 20 odd years, I’ve cared and I’ve coped
And all of that time, I’ve wished and I’ve hoped
That when you grow up, you’ll be safe and be loved
Though wherever you are, it just won’t be enough

Read the rest of The Very Empty Nest

Giving yourself the freedom to ask questions

This reminds me of a conversation I had with someone from the network Bipolar Scotland during research for Scrambled.  I was following my interest, asking her questions like:

  • what does having a diagnosis of ‘bipolar’ mean to you?
  • how does it affect the way you live your life?
  • does it make it hard to trust yourself?

She said that this was the first time (in 30 years of meeting with mental health professionals) that anyone had asked her such questions. I was surprised.  I felt glad of the freedom that doing ‘research’ gave me to ask any question I liked (of course the person doesn’t have to answer my questions – I always make that clear!)

What questions would you like to ask?


  • what questions would you like to ask – of colleagues, or families, or anyone else?
  • what questions would you like someone to ask you?

Share on our Forum

You can find more poetry and writing by parents on the Pamis website.


We’ve been talking about co-production for years and finally, Storyworlds Life gives us what we need to make that work.  Their fantastic approach offers a simple framework for parents and practitioners to talk openly and safely about what’s important to them.  It will help us transform relationships between families and services.

Jenny Miller, CEO, Pamis

I feel more committed to this approach following today.

Parent, Pamis

Having parents present is very important because, otherwise, practitioners will do what feels familiar and safe