When mom or dad - or any caregiver of children - struggles with mental health issues it will affect the whole family. On this program we discuss how caregivers can find support for an array of challenges - from long-term diagnoses like depression and bipolar to temporary concerns caused by abuse or difficult relationships. Plus, how open should caregivers be about their mental health issues, support for living with an alcoholic family member and how poverty + depression go hand-in-hand.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining us from Alaska's mental healthcare community we have two guests in the studio with host, Shana Sheehy.
• Francine Harbour is the executive director of the Anchorage affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness – or NAMI. She is a teacher and teacher-trainer for the NAMI Family-to-Family class, a free 12-week class where family members come together to learn about mental illness so they can take better care of their ill relatives and themselves. Francine is a family member herself of relatives with mental illness as well as a person in recovery from mental illness.
• Virginia McCaslin is the shelter manager at Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis, Inc – or AWAIC. She’s a long-time Alaskan resident and worked in medical administration before studying psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
LINKS FROM THIS PROGRAM:
WHERE TO FIND HELP:
- Rural & Urban Parents Tell Us About Staying Sane - We like to hear what listeners think, so we asked people what they do to keep themselves in good mental health. Here are some of the answers we collected around Anchorage and in the interior community of St. Marys.
- Living with an Alcoholic Family Member - Sharing a home or life with an alcoholic makes for a lot of uncertainty and chaos; fortunately there is a support group to help. Al-Anon is based on the belief that alcoholism is a family illness. Family members and friends of alcoholics gather together to share their experiences, and work through the same 12 steps as AA members. Ala-teen is just for young people living with alcoholism in their homes. Contributor Jessica Cochran reports.
Listen to the whole series here.