January can be a very bleak month for many people. The days are shorter physically and emotionally we feel the effects of the lack of sunshine. Christmas is over. And those New Year’s resolutions you made? Well, we hope you’ve been making progress on them!
Last week we talked about self-care. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to it you can find it here.
This week our focus is on mental health. Our guest, Maureen Towns, shares her painful story of the journey she found herself on when three of her children, began to exhibit mental health issues in their teens. Maureen dealt with a mother’s worst fears for her children. She dealt with issues like a child living on the street, addictions, self-harm, culminating with one son having a psychotic break. It took several years to get her children diagnosed and to start getting the help they all needed.
And of course, she was processing her own feelings as a parent. Maureen had to face her own sense of failure and inadequacy during this time. Did she do something wrong? Was she to blame in some way? Every mother knows that feeling!
Maureen helps others by sharing her experience as a health care provider, a patient, and parent who experienced the challenges of ‘the system’. She now works as a Bounce Back expert. Maureen studies and teaches parents how to integrate resiliency principles into their own lives and their parenting. As a lifelong student of resilience, Maureen integrates resiliency principles into her work with overwhelmed parents to help them and their kids.
Our favourite quote from this episode:
Self-care is about doing what brings you joy. It’s not about nails.
Here are some suggestions for you based on this episode:
1. If you are struggling with mental health challenges in your family, visit Maureen’s website and reach out to her.
2. If someone in your network is facing difficulties and are parenting kids who are facing mental health issues please forward this newsletter to them so they can find some hope through Maureen’s story
3. When you see a young person on the street, remember the connection between serious mental illness and homelessness. Support organizations that support at risk youth.
4. Don’t put more effort into someone else’s sobriety than they are. Get support if you need it. Check out Al-Anon.
Take care of yourself!