Children & Adolescents

 

We have been there.

Discovering that your child has been diagnosed with a mental illness can be confusing and scary. Dealing with the day-to-day demands of a child with mental illness can be overwhelming and isolating. There is continual crisis and chaos. Unless you know others who have a child with mental illness, other parents cannot understand what you are experiencing. You may feel judged by others, even other family members, and feel like you are a inadequate parent or that somehow it is your fault. On top of all these feelings, there is grief which can lead to anger and depression. Your family life and dreams for your child’s future have been shattered.

The most important thing a parent can do is educate themselves about mental illness. Not just about the diagnosis but also about treatments, medications, mental health providers, dealing with the school system, hospitalization, treatment centers, the judicial system, insurance, communication skills with your child, and learning how to take care of yourself. There is no better source for this information than other parents who have traveled this journey.

Finding a support group with other parents who understand what you’re going through is very important. By educating yourself and connecting with others you can contribute to improving the chances of your child’s recovery.

 

Resources

College Student Crisis Hotline
(800) 273-TALK(8255)

 

Youth Mental Health Websites

ADDITUDE Magazine
www.additudemag.com

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
www.aacap.org

American Academy of Pediatrics
www.aap.org

CHADD (Child and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
www.chadd.org

Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
www.ffcmh.org

ParentsMedGuide.org
www.parentsmedguide.org