Coping with a child’s mental health illness and finding the appropriate treatment are difficult tasks when a family is under stress. Family members, friends, neighbors and others may not understand what your family is dealing with. It may seem that outsiders are questioning your abilities as a parent or casting blame.

You may feel isolated as you try to help your child, but you are not alone. It is not your fault. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 44 million Americans experience mental illness every year. Unfortunately, the stigma of mental health often discourages people from seeking help. If a child has leukemia, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or asthma, the family gets support and compassion, but families of mentally ill children hear accusations and judgment from all sides. At Trillium, we strive to help families combat this stigma and seek the care that will allow their children to lead happy, healthy lives.

Consider using the following lines when telling family, friends, and your child’s school that your child will be entering residential treatment:

“We need and want your support and blessings. This is a very difficult decision for us, but our child needs this kind of specialized treatment.”

“We know you have opinions about this, but please respect that we are trying everything that may help our child.”

“I don’t have time to explain (psychiatry or treatment), but I appreciate you’re interest. Here’s Trillium’s website address where you can find lots of good information about this program and how it works.”

“Please don’t judge if you haven’t walked in our shoes. If your solution works for kids with this disorder, please show me the evidence; I’d love to look at it.”

“The facility has a regular public school, with specialized teachers, so they can keep up their education with their peers.”

“Children’s mental health treatment is not as far behind as it used to be. New technology can precisely show how our child’s brain is different from normal. Our media paints an inaccurate picture of what’s really happening today.”