Category Archives: Support for Families

Self Care for Parents and Caregivers

PCLG is excited to announce our first WRAP for Parents and Caregivers!

original

“WRAP has helped me find my own value and peace as a person, not just a parent.” –LV

PCLG will be hosting Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) training for parents and caregivers.  This two-day training includes peer support and a safe environment with the focus on YOU.  We will explore new ways of looking at care-giving and share challenges and coping strategies. Participants will be able to identify helpful resources and return home with a toolkit to guide them through tough moments.

Free for parents & caregivers of children with mental illness in Hennepin County.

  • November 17 and 18th
  • 9am-4pm Saturday and Sunday
  • Lunds & Byerly’s Community Room
  • 3777 Park Center Blvd, St. Louis Park

Limited space available. Course materials and lunch will be provided. 

Register online

Questions? Email hcpclg@yahoo.com

PCLG Coffee & Conversation with CANA

coffee-conversation

  • Saturday, November 11, 2017
  • 10:00am – 12:00pm
  • Creekview Recreation Center, Multipurpose Room
  • 5001 Humboldt Avenue North, Minneapolis

Are you raising a child who faces mental health challenges? We want to hear from you! Join the Center for Africans Now in America (CANA) and Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG)  for a chance to connect and converse over coffee and refreshments. All are welcome!

We will talk about interacting with your child’s school, working with health providers, and accessing services through the county.  What are the special challenges facing families new to our region?  

  • Free, but we ask you to RSVP.
  • Interpreter will be provided.
  • Children are welcome, but please let us know how many and what ages.

For more information, contact:

 

Parenting Challenges: Taking Care of Yourself

 

Register Today!        November 2, 2016 – 6:30 pm

PCLG is sponsoring a free workshop for parents and caregivers this fall.   Join us for light refreshments and a chance to meet other parents while learning about how to take care of yourself! 

Parenting a child with emotional, behavioral, or developmental disabilities can be challenging.  Parents and caregivers often report exhaustion, financial strain, and feelings of isolation. The perception of stigma can increase the sense of burden and isolation that our families feel as well.

Dr. Elizabeth Reeve will share her unique insight into the effects that stress caElizabeth 2n have on parents and ways that we can learn to reduce its impact on us. Participants will learn:

  • What is stress?
  • The effects of chronic stress
  • Unique stressors for parents
  • Ways to reduce stress

 

  • Woodlake Nature Center
  • 6710 Lake Shore Drive
  • Richfield, MN

This event is FREE, but please register!

PCLG ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PARENTS

Ever wished you could get support from other parents right from home when you most need it?facebook-vs-google-advertising

PCLG has launched a new private online support group via Facebook.  The Hennepin County PCLG Support Group is open to parents and caregivers of children and young adults with mental health challenges.  It’s a great place to ask questions, exchange tips and make connections with other parents!

To register: fbook4hcparents@gmail.com

How Do Other A-Typical Families Survive the Holidays?

holiday imageTips for Surviving the Holidays for Non-Typical Families

Holidays can be insidious for our families.  School breaks and cold weather keep our kids inside and boredom can become an issue. Kids like ours often don’t have lots of friends they can visit with or activities that can divert them.  Parents can get overwhelmed with the needs of their kids along with all the expectations, events, financial stresses, and additional chores that the holidays can bring.

Remember, it is defminitely OK to say “No”.  Don’t overschedule yourself or your children. It’s ok to turn down invitations to certain parties or events and do something less stressful like watching a movie at home or playing a board game. It’s really ok for kids to spend some time in a quiet space away from all the relatives and chatter.  Remember, relatives are often very supportive of any approach that will minimize having their holidays disrupted by tantrums and outbursts!

While you’re freeing yourself of too many engagements, keep in mind that you don’t have to be a Slave to Tradition. Maybe kids of other people’s families enjoy getting their picture taken on the lap of a stranger dressed like Santa, but not mine. Many of our kids can only keep it together in public for a little while, so make sure you are not overtaxing them or asking something of them that is just too overwhelming or distressing.

Lower Expectations: Don’t expect your holiday season or your children to be perfect.  I don’t know about you and yours, but my kids don’t smile or say all the right things on demand. For kids with a mental health issue or developmental disability, social niceties just don’t happen spontaneously.  For my son with autism, being around a lot of people at the holidays was very stressful. He did not enjoy opening gifts for a number of years.  Even now, he sometimes disappoints a relative by not showing the type of response to a gift that might be typical.  There could be hurt feelings .  On top of this, some relatives might make negative comments or judgments about the type of parents we were.  This is why it’s extremely important to develop a THICK SKIN.  You need to be able let some of these comments or observations just roll off your back.  They don’t live in your shoes and have no idea what works or doesn’t work with your kids.  You know best what your kids need to feel loved and supported.

Ultimately, the best way to survive the holidays is to take care of yourself and your family.  The rest will fall into place.

The Power of Story

Can your story change the world?  Change minds? Move others to action? Or do you find your audience looking bored and surreptitiously checking their phones?

If we want to do our part in raising awareness and reducing the stigma regarding mental illness in children, we need to be effective storytellers.  And if we want to advocate for our children , we need be able to communicate effectively with the professionals who work with them. If you just need to practice your “elevator speech,” or if you want to learn more about parent advocacy, join us for:

Parent Advocacy Workshop – “Telling Your Story So Others Will Listen”

  • DATE:             September 13, 2014   
  • TIME:              9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • LOCATION:     Oak Grove Middle School
  • Educational Services Building, Door C
  • 1300 West 106th Street, Kim KangBloomington, MN

Longtime disability advocate and legislative expert Kim Kang will be presenting. 

  • The power of story
  • How to tell your personal story
  • Effective communication
  • Meeting strategies
  • Organizing for change

Hosted by the Parent Catalyst Leadership Group (PCLG) of the Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative, the Autism Society of Minnesota (AUSM), and Bloomington Public SchoolsThis event is free, but please register through PCLG at hcpclg@yahoo.com or online through  AUSM at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/telling-your-story-so-others-will-listen-tickets-12296726841

What Parents Wish For

ImageWe’ve been listening to stories from parents about the process of discovering and treating their child’s mental illness.  It’s inspiring to hear and see how so many parents are able to progress from feeling lost and overwhelmed to finding services and solutions for their kids, but the journey is never easy.  When we asked what could have made that process better, here are some things we heard:

Single Point of Entry – Once parents know they need to get some help, they have no idea where to turn.  Many report having made multiple phone calls with many dead ends. They are also surprised by how many applications and assessments they have to complete before their child can start getting help.  Parents say they wish there were one phone number to call and also some sort of guide to help them understand eligibility and other rules.

School Based Mental Health – Symptoms of mental illness often show up in the school setting where our kids spend a lot of their day.  Having a licensed, trained clinician on site at a school can make a big difference in the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of kids.  Parents don’t have to take time off work or take their kids out of school in order to drive to a therapy session.  Kids whose parents don’t have cars have much better access to services.  Moreover, these “in-house” clinicians can play a vital role in educating teachers and staff about techniques that work for each individual.

Hospital Services – When their child is in crisis, parents wish they could find appropriate emergency help that is close to home.  Due to the scarcity of hospital beds for mental health emergencies, children and youth can be sent to facilities that are hours away from home. Sometimes, young children can be sent to teen wards or teens to adult wards.  Moreover, there are often no facilities for families to stay nearby.

Stigma and Judgment – Parents often wish that they had learned more and acted sooner to get help for their child.  They wish that others had spoken out to encourage them to seek help, and not tried to “make them feel better” by minimizing their child’s symptoms. When they did seek help, parents wish that professionals would not immediately assume that they are bad parents or they are at fault. They wish to be listened to respectfully.

Link

New Mental Health Website for Youth

New Mental Health Website for Youth “You Are Not Alone”

NAMI Minnesota has just launched this new mental health website for youth.  It’s definitely worth a look.