Mental Health

Parents with mental illness are far more likely than other parents to lose their children to foster care. Children with mental illness or behavioral problems also are more likely to enter foster care, either to receive intensive services or because of family stress. Fear and shame can keep parents from reaching out for help. Effective services can also be very hard to find. Stories here explore parents’ experiences finding support for themselves and their children.

‘I Want to Feel Safe but I’m Scared’ – I’m searching for a therapist who can help me with PTSD.

I’ve been diagnosed with Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). When I was little, my mother hit and kicked me all the time. My step-dad abused me. I’ve been raped multiple times. The last time was in 2005. I’ve dealt with all of this mostly by smoking weed and staying in my house.

I want to get treatment and live life. But going to counseling and speaking to others about what I’ve held in for so long … Read More

Laying the Past to Rest – Calming your body’s sensations can help to heal trauma.

Bessel Van Der Kolk, medical director of the Justice Treatment Institute’s Trauma Center in Massachusetts and renowned trauma treatment researcher and specialist, talks about ways to recover from trauma.

Q: Your recent book is called “The Body Keeps the Score.” Can you explain what that means and why it’s important for people who have experienced trauma to understand it?

A: Trauma lives in our bodies. Our brains try to keep our bodies from feeling that trauma. But … Read More

Awakening to Magic – In addition to services, times of joy, connection and wonder keep me going.

Magic really does exist. Magic is when you hear music that makes you laugh or cry; you feel it deep within your soul. Magic is also when you read a book that makes you feel like you can go anywhere and do anything while you stay safe and secure.

Magic is how you view the world. It’s walking in a garden and observing the beautiful flowers and magnificent trees, and seeing how soft and alive the … Read More

‘One Child Felt Like One Thousand’ – Better communication helped my son and me handle his ADHD.

What is ADHD? A few years ago I had no idea what that stood for (Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity) and had never heard of it. But I found out I had a beautiful little boy dealing with it.

Some days Alex was fine, what you might call a normal boy. Most days were hectic. One child felt like one thousand. He was all over the place, starting one thing and never finishing, just jumping to … Read More

‘It Helps You Create That Special Bond’ – Two mothers explain how parent-child therapy helped them.

Kira Santana and Sara Werner are two mothers who have gone to parent-child therapy at the Albert Einstein Early Childhood Center’s Infant-Parent Project. Here they describe their experiences:

Sara: If you have the chance to come to this kind of parenting program, I would recommend it. Definitely.

Nobody forced me to come here. I chose to come. My caseworker said, “The program would be a good way for somebody to help you and your child learn to … Read More