Back-To-School Strategies for Parents of Children Living with Mental Illness
For children living with mental illness, going back to school is loaded with potential obstacles and stressors including changing routines, scholastic and social expectations, separation, and excitement.
The start of the school year often triggers anxiety for parents of children with mental illnesses. New teachers and environments often mean new challenges, but they can also signal new opportunities for success.
The following are some suggested strategies to consider and adapt to help build a foundation for a successful school year for the child living with mental illness. Read more...
China Famine Study Links Schizophrenia to Malnutrition
A study of a famine in China more than 40 years ago, published in the August 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has found that children born to severely malnourished women are more likely to develop schizophrenia.
The research strengthens evidence that environmental factors may trigger genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. Children born in southeast China during a 1959-1961 famine were twice as likely to develop the illness than those before or after those years. Read more…
NAMI Members Honored As Voices Against Stigma
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has honored NAMI members Beth Ann Russell of North Carolina and Bruce Black of Texas, with "Voice Awards" for their role in the Elimination of Barriers Initiative (EBI) sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Russell, a 24-year old student living with schizophrenia, has shared her story at numerous NAMI meetings and special events, as well as with hundreds of students at Sandhills Community College in Moore County, NC. She also helped educate hundreds of teachers and school personnel about what it was like to attend high school with a mental illness. Read more...
Traditionally, twin studies have been important statistically for understanding genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, but a new book, authored by twins, provides a unique exposition of the illness.
Divided Minds: Twins Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia is a memoir by Pamela Spiro Wagner, now in her 50s, who began hearing voices in 6th grade. Her chapters alternate with ones by her sister, Carolyn Spiro, M.D., a psychiatrist, who even with her medical training, did not recognize her sister's illness for years. Neither did their father, a professor at Yale Medical School. Read more…
The decision by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to issue a so-called black-box warning concerning the use of antidepressants for adolescents has left many families attempting to deal with the mental illness of a child with even more uncertainty about possible lifesaving treatment options.
Gail Griffith's book, Will's Choice: A Suicidal Teen, a Desperate Mother, and a Chronicle of Recovery, provides a stunning portrait of a family struggling to deal with a son's suicide attempt and battle with major depressive disorder. Part memoir, part social commentary, part resource guide, Griffith's book addresses the multitude of issues -- emotional, financial, medical, bureaucratic -- families face in the aftermath of a suicide attempt. Read more…