Schools Help Parents Deal with a Child's Mental Illness
> 5/12/2006 12:19:07 PM

Today there is an interesting article from the Baltimore Sun that details how some schools in the Baltimore area are helping parents deal with their children's mental health disorder diagnoses. The programs include support groups and information sessions that take place in the school and community. The co-sponsor and driving force behind many of these initiatives is NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

NAMI, a grassroots organization with affiliates in every state and many communities across the country, sets its mission as one of advocacy, research, support, and education. In Baltimore the goal is to help educate parents about helping their child cope. Families face mental illness together, and often a child that is struggling with depression, bipolar disorder or ADHD can place stresses on the family unit. Similarly, these issues can place the child at a disadvantage at school. Often teachers are ill-equipped to differentiate misbehavior from signs of mental health issues. Depression or ADHD, neither wholly uncommon in schools, can manifest themselves in different ways in different children, and recognizing them is an important part of ensuring a child's success. Through programs like NAMI's, the hope is that both parent and child are better prepared for that success.

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