Caregivers of children with special health care needs, especially those whose children have emotional, behavioral, developmental, or life-limiting challenges, experience considerable strain and stress when it comes to caring for their child’s special needs. The enormous burden of caregiving can decrease a parent’s ability to provide care, and impact the health of the child, the parents, and the overall functioning family. To manage these challenges, parents report the need for mental health care for themselves and, or their children, but many of these families go without these services. Understanding barriers to mental health care for families of children with special health care needs is critical to creating policy and practice solutions that will increase access to mental health care for families.
The E.WE Foundation is committed to normalizing mental health and to providing mental health support to families living with rare diseases, like Edwards Syndrome, medical complexities, and special health care needs.
MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS
The E.WE Foundation along with several other community organizations partner with Madison City Schools and Madison City Council of PTAs for Mental Health Matters, an ongoing initiative to understand mental health concerns in young people and their families.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU HAVE MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS?
Consult your doctor! Describe what concerns you and ask for recommendations. They may provide a referral for a Mental Health Professional. Additional resources may be available through your employer. Some employers offer mental health services through employee assistance programs (EAP). Speak with your human resources team.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, consult their doctor or pediatrician. Describe what concerns you and ask for recommendations. Contact key people at your child’s school. The School Counselor is a great resource to start if you aren’t sure. Teachers can also provide insight about any changes or concerns in your child’s behavior.
The E.WE Foundation – ZEBRA Program
The Enrichment Center – School-based mental health counseling program
National Children’s Advocacy Center – Trauma services and support, parenting classes, and advocacy
The Caring House – Grief support services
Wellstone/NOVA Center for Youth and Family – Mental health screenings and treatment resources
United Way of North Alabama – DIAL 2-1-1 from your phone or search the online database to get help with non-emergency needs
NAMI of Huntsville – List of area mental health providers, education and community support
MENTAL HEALTH ONLINE RESOURCES:
- National PTA Healthy Minds: Prioritizing Mental Health
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health
- Mentalhealth.gov – For Parents & Caregivers
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Mental Health America
- Child Mind Institute Resources for Families
- Military Child Resources for mental health
- Not One More Alabama
SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES:
*Resource lists created in partnership with Madison City Schools and the Madison City Council of PTAs.