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.

Getting and Giving – I feel good helping someone else in need like me.

art by Rosa Perin

Ten years ago, I was a single mom of two children, 2 years and 11 months. I was in treatment for bipolar disorder but I was isolating myself, a warning sign of depression. My therapist recommended that I come to a clubhouse at a program called Employment Options.

Coming to the club helped me make friends and get to know other people with mental health problems. But soon after, I was … Read More

Un Sólo Niño Me Parecía como Si Fuesen Miles – La terapia familiar ayudo a mi hijo con TDHD y a mi.

¿Que es TDHD (ADHD en Inglés)? Pocos años atrás, yo no tenia idea lo que significaba (Trastorno de Deficiencia en la Atención e Hiperactividad). Nunca lo había escuchado. Pero me di cuenta que mi pequeño niño estaba lidiando con esto.

Algunos días Alex se portaba bien, lo que uno consideraría un niño normal. Pero la mayoría de los días eran estresantes. Un sólo niño me parecía como si fuesen miles. Corría por todas partes, nunca terminaba … Read More

There and Back – One painful day ripped my family apart. Fifteen years later, we’re coming together again.

art by Karolina Zaniesienko

When my daughter was 12, she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted. She went through the trauma of being raped and left to die. This had a devastating impact on her life and mine. She is only now, 15 years later, beginning to heal.

It happened one morning when I left home early to go to a job interview and my children, Pilar and Maurice, were late getting ready for school. Maurice … Read More

Paying for the Past – After years in foster care, my son came home angry. Could we be a family again?

On December 8, 2000, my 15-year-old son was discharged into my custody after spending a long time in a residential treatment center. I thought everything would be good. I had wanted him to come home for so long. But his anger soon overwhelmed me.

My children were taken from me when my son was 5, because of my drug addiction. In foster care, Luis’ anger just grew and grew. He was angry at the system because … Read More

A Safe Place to Connect – How therapy can help your family heal.


Adrienne Williams-Myers, program director of Project Safe at the Northside Center for Child Development, explains how therapy can support reunifying families:

Q: How can therapy help families reconnect?

A: When parents and kids are involved in the system, their world has been full of other people telling them what to do. Therapy is a time for them to focus on themselves and their goals. I help families identify their strengths, resilience and love for each … Read More

Translate »