1. Find a Support System
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Parents of children with mental illness often find themselves living in an “under the radar” community. Stigma, privacy issues, and feeling misunderstood make it difficult to be transparent about our struggles publicly.
When a child struggles, the whole family is affected. Children have attained sobriety and then relapsed. Siblings have acted out their feelings of neglect. Young adults have made heartbreaking decisions that are no reflection on the parenting skills of those who raised them.
Suicide attempts are an everyday conversation.
We find hope through the affirmation and encouragement of a community that is familiar with our common experiences. There is opportunity to share questions about behavior, treatment, school accommodations, and other areas related to raising a child with mental illness.
Together we grieve, hold out hope, bare our souls, pray, and inform.
Where can you find these life-giving spaces? While in-person groups offer literal shoulders to lean on, they may not always be a possibility. Nami.org offers local in-person support groups and educational events as well as online opportunities to become informed. Type in your zip code to find local resources.
Churches also may offer support groups either sponsored by them or hosting meeting space for others.
In addition, search the internet for online groups. Find one that best fits your needs. Here are some suggestions:
"Shut Up about Your Perfect Kid - Teen/Tween" Facebook Group
"Parenting Kids Who Have Mental Illness" Facebook Group
"Help! That Wasn’t in the Book!" Facebook Group
Sibling Support Project
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