When it comes to mental health, services for the family should be of top priority. Without a healthy state of mind, families will deteriorate and fall apart. The goal of family therapy is to confront and address issues that affect the entire family. A good therapist can help a family work together to get to the root of the issues, develop coping and communication skills, learn to forgive, and move forward as a family.
Recently we had a mental health crisis in the family. During the divorce, our youngest son, who was thirteen at the time, tried to end his life. Being a teen is hard enough; add a divorce, middle school drama, Tourette’s, ADHD, and an emotional disability, and what you have is a recipe for disaster. Which is what it was until we had a nonprofit organization step in to help our family with the mental health services we desperately needed and fast.
And if that wasn’t enough for this young teenager to handle, add to the fact that he was failing all of his middle school classes because of his poor mental health. Each day, he fell more behind than the last, and the only possible way to “catch up” was to enroll in a children’s summer program (which they also have for free, but that’s another article).
Statistics prove that if a child falls behind in math or reading skills by the fourth grade, they are less likely to complete their education and have a harder time finding employment. These organizations believe that all children have the ability to be successful in life if given the required tools and skills. They have tutors that can provide encouragement, motivation, and support for a summer learning achievement.
Furthermore, and to “add insult to injury,” his only grandmother, his caretaker, could no longer provide support as she was falling deeper into dementia with no in-home care or support of her own. So, how important are family services? Well, for us, lifesaving.
The nonprofit that stepped up for us included a family therapy program where they came to my home to counsel my son and I, together and separately. They also went to his father’s house to do the same. It lasted several weeks with workshops, school visits, and therapy sessions.
Additionally, they assigned a psychologist to his case to monitor and prescribe medications like Wellbutrin, Guanfacine, and Depakote, ensuring there were no negative interactions with the albuterol for his asthma.
Family services typically employ a wide range of resources to facilitate positive interactions between parents and children. Some of the family services available may include but are not limited to the following:
- Therapeutic Services
- Individual Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Parent Engagement
- Diversion Parent Engagement Workshops
- Parent Workshops
- Parent Engagement Workshops
- Supervised Parenting
- Family Pathways (VOCA)
- Therapeutic Supervised Parenting
- Substance Use Treatment
- Substance Use Assessment
- Drug Screenings
How to get mental health family services
Since our teen ended up at Mott’s Children’s Hospital at The University of Michigan, the psychologists and psychiatrists there helped to direct us to the proper programs and organizations that would best fit our teen’s mental health needs.
However, should you, or a family member, need help with a mental or substance use disorder, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889, or text your zip code to 435748 (HELP4U), or use FindTreatment.gov to get help immediately.
An important fact to remember when a mental health crisis occurs in the family; it is not the fault of any one individual. Mental health issues are complex and require trained professionals’ assistance to manage the situation. It is essential to be respectful and non-judgmental when reaching out for help.
The first step when dealing with a mental health crisis in the family should be to reach out to a professional. Many resources include therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and support groups. It is essential to choose a provider who is experienced in working with a particular issue and to speak openly and honestly about the situation. We are only as sick as our secrets.
It can also be beneficial to create an action plan for the family. This plan should include a list of goals, strategies, and resources that can be used to help support the individual in need. This plan should be reviewed regularly with all family members to ensure everyone is on the same page and working together.
If the individual is having difficulty communicating, it can be helpful to offer alternative methods of communication, such as writing or art, as it will help to reduce stress and allow the individual to express their thoughts and feelings in a safe, non-judgmental space.
It is also essential to practice self-care and ensure that the other family members are taking care of their mental health, including taking breaks, engaging in activities that bring joy, and getting adequate rest.
How to help someone with mental illness who doesn’t want help
Unfortunately, when someone is struggling with a mental health crisis, they either do not recognize it or refuse to address it. If they do not want help, try to be tolerant, patient, and kind. And one of my favorites to fall back on when I do not know what else to do; pray! Here are some more suggestions to consider:
- Listen: Listening without judgment is the best way to show someone you care and are there for them. Ask them about their day and how they are feeling. It is vital to be an active listener and not to interrupt or judge them.
- Offer Reassurance: It is key to remind them that they are not alone and that you are there for them. Let them know that you understand how difficult it is for them and that you are there to support them in any way you can.
- Stay Calm: It is valuable to stay calm and not to get angry or frustrated. Even if the person is not responding positively to your help, it is important to remain calm and understanding.
- Be Patient: It may take time for someone to get the help they need, and they may not be ready to accept it immediately. Therefore, it is essential to be patient and understanding and continue offering your support and love.
- Try Not to Make Assumptions: It is critical to be aware of any assumptions you are making and to try to avoid them. Everyone’s mental health struggles are different, and it is imperative to be open to understanding the individual’s unique situation.
- Keep Social Contact: It is important to stay connected with the person and check in on them regularly, demonstrating that you care and are there for them. Try to plan activities that you both enjoy, and be sure to give them space when needed.
How important are family services?
In conclusion, family services are essential to mental health to create a supportive environment, provide educational resources, and offer professional guidance. Families are a key source of emotional and financial support, and they can serve as a valuable source of information and resources. By utilizing family services, individuals can develop the skills and knowledge necessary to manage their mental health better and make informed decisions about their care. Furthermore, family services can help individuals feel less isolated and more connected to their communities, ultimately improving overall mental health.