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Navigating Mental Health Challenges as a Parent: Tips and Resources for Support

Parenting can be very rewarding, but also poses many challenges. For those who have mental health challenges, parenting can be more challenging than typical, and the worry of how their mental illness can impact their child can make it even more daunting. One in four U.S. families are impacted by mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. Those mental health issues impact not only the parent, but their children are also affected. That is why it is essential that these parents seek professional help, not just for their own sake, but for their children’s sake. With the proper help, from specialists such as those at Aspire Counseling Services, parents can not only receive treatment to help them cope with their mental health issues, but also help them develop the skills needed to help them be better parents.

To be a better parent, you must first take care of yourself. If you are struggling with a mental illness, whether it is anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or any other disorder, you must seek professional help to get control of your symptoms. With proper treatment for mental illness at Aspire Counseling Services, your counselors will work with you to develop a personalized plan that will help you to cope with your illness. This multi-disciplinary plan may include medication, individual therapy, group therapy, and more. Helping you to gain control of your symptoms and develop coping skills will help you to be a better parent.

Without professional assistance, you run the risk of not controlling your symptoms, which can severely affect your children. Your parenting capacity can be impacted by your symptoms, for example depression can cause you to excessively sleep and neglect your children or cause you to be less emotionally invested in their lives. However, with proper treatment the counselors at Aspire can help you develop skills to gain control of your symptoms. You may need to learn to lean on family and friends for more help, and that is not a bad thing. We all need help at times and especially when we are struggling with an illness. The group sessions at Aspire will also help you as you learn there are others struggling with the same issues and you share ideas on how to cope.

Children are at risk of developing social, emotional, and behavioral problems if their parent has a mental illness. While their genetic makeup is involved in this risk, the environment in which they grow and develop has a significant impact. Sometimes these children will take on responsibilities the parent is not addressing. They may blame themselves for their parent’s struggles, experiencing guilt, anger, and anxiety, or feeling embarrassed or ashamed. However, children of parents with mental illness can also thrive and become resilient if they are provided with protective factors that minimize their risk. For example, additional family support when the parent is struggling, and group counseling where they learn to develop healthy coping skills can minimize their risk.

Self-Coping Skills for Parents

  • Prioritize your health
    • Get adequate sleep and exercise
    • Eat healthy
    • Practice mindfulness
    • Avoid self-medication (alcohol or drugs)
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others
  • Find creative outlets and activities to stimulate yourself
  • Set boundaries to reduce stress
  • Seek professional help
  • Ask for help from family and friends

If you are a parent struggling with a mental illness, reach out to the counselors at Aspire Counseling Services for help. Our counselors will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, help you to build a support system, develop the skills you need to cope with your illness, and provide you with parenting tips for your children to thrive.

Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

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Planting Seeds, Saving Lives

Available 24/7 (888) 585-7373




Privacy Practices
Copyright © 2023 Aspire Counseling Services®
Powered & Designed by Citryn, LLC

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