How parents can support kids' mental health recovery with Parent UniversityPosted on 04/19/18 01:23:pm
As a parent, seeing your child struggling with the expected challenges of childhood and adolescence is hard. But when it’s an unexpected challenge like mental illness, it’s even harder.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 20% of children ages 13 to 18 currently have or previously had a debilitating mental disorder.
When your child is being treated for behavioral problems or mental illness, you are often consumed with a flood of questions and emotions. Am I saying the right things to my child? How can I help? Will my child ever get better? Was the mental illness my fault? How do I support my child’s mental health needs after treatment?
Family involvement is a key part of Rogers’ therapeutic approach for many of our child and adolescent treatments. Parents are encouraged to participate in Parent University, a program that educates parents in the treatment, recovery, and mental health support of their children.
“Parents are often so confused about how to best help their child; they’ve received all kinds of different messages over the years,” says Dr. Peggy Scallon, medical director of the FOCUS Adolescent Mood Disorders Program in Oconomowoc. “What we try to do is take an educational, supportive stance with parents.”
In Parent University, parents discuss expectations of accountability for a child after they return home from treatment. For example, ensuring parents continue to support treatment strategies — such as expecting their child to attend school and complete homework and chores daily — is critical to advancing their child’s mental health recovery and easing the transition back to home and school. In addition, parents learn what to avoid, including not reinforcing bad behavior.
View the video above to hear Dr. Scallon explain more about what parents and families can expect from Parent University.
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