Ideas and support for parents, grandparents and siblings
To be the parent, sibling or grandparent of a young person suffering with their mental health can be very hard. You want to help, but you don’t know how – and the young person themselves may not be able to tell you very much because they are grappling with a whole range of thoughts and emotions that are new to them, as well.
We don’t know too much about how things were for the Holy Family – we know that on one trip Jesus stayed behind, teaching in the Temple, while his parents – who had begun their journey home – were frantically looking for him. We can imagine some of the struggles of Joseph, particularly, as he kindly and carefully looked after a son that he knew was not his, and which he cared for as an adoptive father. Jesus uses the word “Abba” to speak about God the Father – and the word “Abba” is a playful Hebrew word meaning “daddy.” So let’s not presume or pretend that the Holy Family are without some of the struggles of any family. Perhaps that helps when – as parents, grandparents or siblings – you are struggling with aspects of your family life, and particularly in how best to journey with a young person whose mental health is a challenge for them – perhaps just for a few weeks or months, and perhaps for many years.
The three websites mentioned here will lead you to very many places where you can find help, support, networks of parents and families, and much else besides. They complement the websites and links in other sections, which also often have specific resources for families.
Brentwood Catholic Children’s Society (www.bccs.org.uk) offer counselling support including family therapy. They also recommend a very wide range of resources covering many different aspects of mental wellbeing and mental health collated by CAMHS and these include resources especially for parents – they are especially good for the facts about mental health, with information backed by research.
Parenting Mental Health
This charity describes itself as “dedicated to creating a supportive community for parents of young people with mental health issues.”