Just found a great Australian site — National Network of Adult & Adolescent Children of Mentally Ill Parents — with super advice (see below). The site also features a great downloadable Family Management Crisis Plan.
Tips for Parents with a mental illness for managing life with Children and Young people.
- Be honest with you kids.
- Let them know when you are feeling stressed.
- Talk to them about what you can and can’t do.
- Don’t wrap your kids up in cotton wool. (Hav to admit I’m a little in the dark about the cotton wool advice — pk).
- Let them do ‘kids things’ within reason, let them go to birthday parties and to the pool to the gym.
- Let them go to youth groups, sporting activities, church, religious activities.
- Don’t be over protective.
- Because when you are really unwell these positive experiences from these things can pay off.
- Let them talk to friends and develop friendships in these activities; you have to let them be part of their community.
- Keep well by taking your medication, have regular contact with your psychiatrist.
- Give your kids positive reinforcement.
- Tell them they have done a good job when they have done the washing up or the vacuuming or a task that you appreciate.
- Tell them that you love them, unconditionally, as often as you can.
- Does not matter what they do (your kids), good or bad, tell them that you love them.
In honor of Mother’s Day and my wonderful mother Barbara who had acute bipolar disorder, if you buy a copy of Approaching Neverland now thru May 31, 20% will go to NAMI Walk SF Bay Area to help other families dealing with mental illness!
Posted in bipolar disease, families and mental illness, mental health and families, Mental Health Stigma
Tagged Approaching Neverland, bipolar disease, bipolar disorder, bipolar mother, families with mental illness, mental illness, NAMI, NAMI Walks, NAMIWalks, parent with bipolar, parent with bipolar disease, Peggy Kennedy
The Health Care bill signed into law today should help to improve the lives of individuals and families dealing with loved ones with mental illness. One important thing about the bill is that it requires mental health parity with that for physical illnesses in terms of annual and lifetime treatment benefits. This would also require “carve-out” programs, or specialized managed care organizations that provide mental health services, to comply with parity requirements. I’m hoping this makes a big difference in quality of life for the one in four families dealing with mental health issues.
Posted in bipolar disease, families and mental illness, family bonds, mental health and families, Mental Health Stigma
Tagged Approaching Neverland, behavioral health in health care bill, bipolar disease, families and mental illness, Halth Care bill, men, mental health, mental health and families, mental illness and health care bill, NAMI, parent with bipolar disease, Peggy Kennedy
I was honored to be a guest at a San Ramon group’s first book club meeting this morning. Meeting with this lively, lovely group of women reminded me of how lucky we women are that we feel so comfortable diving deep into our emotions to find the answers to what makes us tick and what makes us who we are as individuals. Within the course of 90 minutes, we shared our stories of mental illness and relationships and loss, and I think we all left feeling a little closer and a little less alone.
Thanks so much to all of you at today’s book club for coming and opening up your hearts 🙂
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Approaching Neverland, Approaching Neverland book events, Approaching Neverland NAMI, bipolar mother, book clubs, families and mental illness, loss, mental illness, mental illness and families, parent with bipolar disease, relationships, stigma of mental illness; family
Good morning 🙂
I’ve finally wrapped my mind around how to set up this blog. Somehow, the rain has helped me focus and get it done. Now if you want to talk with me or anyone else about my new book, Approaching Neverland, the story of how my family dealt with my mother’s bipolar disorder, you can put it down right here. I look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy your Sunday.