Children of Parent(s) with
Mental Health Issues
BOOK: I’m Not Alone: A Teen’s Guide to Living with a Parent Who Has a Mental Illness focuses on the teenager’s experience of living with a parent who has a serious mental illness, with particular attention to depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. The reader learns about the causes of mental illness, common symptoms of each disorder, the role of mental health professionals, and treatment options. A variety of educational techniques are used throughout the text including stories, poems, inspirational quotes, and key lessons. Part Two normalizes the teen’s experience of a wide range of emotions and teaches effective coping tools. The reader then identifies his/her personal support system and weighs the pros and cons of sharing personal information with trustworthy friends. Throughout the book readers are encouraged to respond to questions, to consider hypothetical scenarios that may resonate with their experiences, and to reflect on their feelings via journaling. Part Three includes frequently asked questions, a glossary, and an extensive resource list. This practical, reassuring book connects with readers so they feel informed, in control, hopeful, and not alone.
"A highly informative and remarkably sensitive book that provides children of parents who have a mental illness with easily accessible information and compassionate support that will make their difficult journey easier. This book provides a tremendous amount of information about mental illness and convincingly informs the readers that their confusion and feelings are not an indication that there is something wrong with them - but rather that they are dealing with extraordinarily difficult circumstances that are not of their own making. It is essential that this book be made available to teens dealing with mental illness in the family. It could make all the difference in the world." (Fred Sautter, Ph.D., Tulane University Health Sciences Center.)
The following websites have a lot of helpful information, but some information (finding local services) will not apply since they are not located in the United States
Children of Parents with Mental Illness (COPMI)
My Parent Has a Mental Illness
Build Your Coping Skills
When a Parent Has a Mental Illness
When Your Parents have Mental Illness:
Healing Childhood Trauma
from a NAMI Blog in February 2018
Coping with My Mom's Mental Illness
by Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD
article on PsychCentral.org
from Psychology Today
Growing Up With a Mentally Ill Parent: 6 Core Experiences
10 Ways Children of Mentally Ill Parents
Can Break The Cycle
TEXT for TEENS
Provides teens with confidential text line for information, referral and “chatting”
Offered through Mental Health Association
in Orange County Inc.
Invisible Children's Project
through MHA in Orange County, Inc.
Family case management for adults with a psychiatric disability and their children.
Provides training, educational supports and 24 hour crisis intervention. Supported housing available through HUD Shelter Plus Care grant; must be homeless.
Respite program provides child care for consumers who have a psychiatric disability and are part of the MHA and Crystal Run Village Invisible Children's project. Services are also available to additional agencies on a sub-contract basis.
From the Parents' Perspective:
When a Parent has a Mental Illness
from Mental Health America Website