The 85th Legislative Session in Texas was busy when it came to mental health. This was a result of a report by the Texas Select Committee on Mental Health, a year-long review of what was working and what is broken when it comes to mental health care in the state. As reported by the Texas Council for Development Disabilities, several bills related to mental health services passed the Texas legislature and went into effect on September 1, 2017. Here’s an overview on this new legislation:
Understanding mental illness and how to help a loved one experiencing it is a difficult challenge for friends and family… and clergy. In times of struggle and crisis, many families turn to their pastors, rabbis and priests for support; however, not all clergy are trained in the effective ways they can support their parishioners. Just as stigma has prevented conversations about mental illness in secular settings, it has also limited conversations in sacred spaces, too.
Building resiliency in kids with mental health challenges is a year-round process, but the summer months can prove to be especially challenging. The structure of the school day is lacking. So is access to the school’s resources for helping kids to cope with both new issues that might crop up and any that are ongoing. As always, the key is providing a positive environment that avoids judgment in favor of nurturing; it’s also important to be an active listener when talking with your kids.
During the month of May – Mental Health Awareness Month – those in the know turn their manicures into Maynicures. What’s the difference? A Maynicure features four nails painted one color, and the fifth nail painted a contrasting color to represent the 1 in 5 children who experience mental illness. It’s a fun campaign that makes the One in Five Minds message come to life in a visible and unique way.
As someone who is concerned about children’s mental health, you know that good and timely information is critical for parents when it comes to their child’s future and safety.
We hear it, too:
“I wish I had been able to help my child sooner.”
“I didn’t know where to turn.”
“People don’t understand what you are dealing with.”
As One in Five Minds, we want to address this gap in information and access, because we know that the sooner a child is treated, the better his or her chances of success.
Some of the key issues faced by families with a child experiencing mental illness include:
- fear of the problem;
- unfamiliarity of its multi-faceted realities;
- inexperience with the field of mental health care;
- difficulty with getting a support system in place among key partners like the school;
- difficulty with managing life with the child who suffers from an illness;
- and difficulties getting treatment and being able to pay for it.
Our upcoming educational blogs will address these topics. We encourage you to read, watch and share as much as you can. We also welcome your feedback and input.
Our team is most grateful for you and the role you play as an advocate for children. Please accept our best wishes for a joyful and healthy year!
With heartfelt thanks for how much you care,
The One in Five Minds team
Our faith leaders - pastors, priests and rabbis - are in a unique position to be the first line of defense when confronting mental illness. Speaking at the recent Pathways to Hope conference, Matthew S. Stanford, PhD and CEO, of Hope & Healing Center & Institute agreed, saying that people experiencing a mental health crisis are, “more likely to go to a clergy member before any other professional group.” Because of that, both Stanford and Austin Psychiatrist, Daniel Morehead MD, believe that religion and spirituality, can and should be part of a treatment plan (where appropriate) for those that struggle with mental health issues. What follows are some practical questions and responses about how that might work.