When our daughter struggled with a mental illness, we struggled to find resources for family members. No one at the psych ward gave us instructions on what to do when they released our daughter. This guide can help.
Why Don’t They Hand Out Resources for Family Members?
I don’t know about you, but more than once as a parent I’ve wished children came with operating instructions. It seems like the nurse should hand out resources for family members and not just coupons for diapers and baby food when you check your newborn out of the hospital. Real resources with information on what to do if your baby cries all night or won’t latch on. A few resources for family members (especially husbands) on how to change diapers, make sure their wife gets enough rest, an explanation of how real men don’t babysit their own children would be nice, too.
But alas. parents of newborns have to wade through hundreds of books on their own for the advice and resources they seek. And doctors should absolutely pass out resources for family members about potential mental health problems their children might face. Growing up these days looks nothing like growing up back in the 70s and 80s. Back then, no one talked about depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or anxiety.
My only information about any kind of mental health issue came from passing the state hospital as a kid and having my sister learn over and tell me the ominous looking building was full of crazy people.
If you’d like to read an adolescent’s perspective on suffering from depression, read this article.
National Alliance on Mental Illness website has wonderful resources for those with a mental illness as well as their family members and friends.
The Mighty offers both community and content written for and by those who suffer from mental illnesses.
Wonder what it’s like inside a psych ward? This first-person account will explain what it’s like.
It looks like there’s an update version of the Bipolar Survival Guide. This is one of the best resources for family members out there.
Dr. Kay Jamison’s classic An Unquiet Mind, is a must-read, too.
There are other resources for family members out there, but these are great books to start with.
Come Back Next Week
Next week I’ll talk about the failure of the church to compassionately address mental illness.Looking for resources for family members of someone with a mental illness? Start here. #stopthestigma #NAMI #mentalhealthmonth Click To Tweet