Time to talk: a parent’s perspective on children’s mental illness
Liza Long at TEDxSanAntonio

On December 14, 2012, the day Adam Lanza killed his mother, then walked into a school in Newtown, Connecticut and shot 20 first graders and 6 brave educators, I shared my struggles as a parent of a child with mental illness on my anonymous blog, the Anarchist Soccer Mom. The post went viral, and it caused quite a bit of controversy.

In that post, I wrote, “It’s time to talk about mental illness.” Why? One in five children has a serious and debilitating mental disorder. More than 4600 children and young people die each year from completing suicide. And yet across America, parents are struggling to find solutions for their hurting children.

Too often, the only solution is jail: between 50 and 75 percent of children in juvenile detention have mental illness, often untreated, at a tremendous cost to taxpayers and society. Parents feel isolated, alone, and afraid. Pervasive stigma prevents us from even talking about our needs. One mother told me, “I know this sounds terrible, but I wish my daughter had cancer instead of a mental disorder. At least then I could talk about it.”

It’s time to talk.

Written by Guest Author
The Caregiver Space accepts contributions from experts for The Caregiver's Toolbox and provides a platform for all caregivers in Caregiver Stories. Please read our author guidelines for more information and use our contact form to submit guest articles.

Related Articles

Widow’s Peak

Widow’s Peak

She said she had something to tell me but that she was afraid. I reached for her trembling hand, telling her sweetly, naïvely, that it would be...

Staying in touch off of Facebook

Staying in touch off of Facebook

The Caregiver Space Facebook account has received numerous violation notices, accusing us of lying about where we're operating from, spreading...

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.