According to a 2016 study by the University of Michigan, nearly half of the 7.7 million children and teens in the country who are living with at least one treatable mental health disorder—including ADHD or anxiety—do not receive needed treatment from a mental health professional. As the father of one such child (at that time of the report), I understand the importance of seeking support: support not only for the child but for parents as well.
I know that I often felt alone and didn’t know where to turn during times when I felt completely inadequate as a parent. Not only does this not make sense—as my wife was going through the same experience I was—but it was a detriment to my daughter. My stubbornness and pride didn’t allow me to seek guidance, whether from friends, family or professionals. Fortunately, my daughter’s self-awareness that she needed help broke through, and we finally sought out the treatment she needed.
What I’ve learned over the past several years is that I’m not the only parent who feels like a failure. Here’s a secret: parenting is hard. I’ve also learned that there are resources available to parents of children dealing with mental health issues.
On this episode of Purposeful Pitch, I speak with Jane Shank, executive director of the Association for Children’s Mental Health. The organization was founded 30 years ago by two mothers committed to bringing help and hope to families of children and youth with severe emotional, behavioral and mental health disorders by ensuring they have access to information and support. What makes the ACMH unique is that it’s led and staffed by parents who have faced the same challenges as those who are seeking support. I encourage anyone with children—or thinking about having children—to listen and learn about existing resources, and that you are not alone.
To discuss further or learn more about Lambert’s Education & Social Impact practice, contact Joe DiBenedetto.