NAMI PA, Bucks County offers the following free services and shares resources for families with children and teens living with mental health needs:
Education for High School Students
“Ending The Silence”; a program especially designed for high school audiences and typically presented in the freshman/sophomore health classes during the mental health portion of the curriculum. This program was developed by Dupage County Illinois, NAMI.
This interactive program which provides key resource materials for students, seeks to inform them about the basic signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and reduce the stigma through personal stories.
The informational and interactive power point is the first part of the presentation and the personal story is the second. The last few minutes of the class are for evaluation and Q & A. “Mood Pencils” are used as incentive for students to ask questions. These change color with the heat from your hand and have the NAMI PA, Bucks County contact information on them. The students also get a brochure from SAMHSA, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “What a Difference a Friend Makes”.
Education for Families and Caregivers
• NAMI Basics is a NAMI national signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness. This free six-session course is facilitated by trained teachers who are also parents/caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness in childhood. The course provides the fundamentals a caregiver needs for themselves, their family, and their child who is living with a mental illness. For more information or to register: 215-442-5637 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for Talking with Your Child or Teen
• If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, reviewing this checklist from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry can help you assess and document your child’s feelings and behavior:http://bit.ly/1VRGq8v
• Find resources to start a conversation with your child about their mental health via Mental Health America (http://bit.ly/learnmh) and find Mental Health America’s online screening tool your child can complete athttp://bit.ly/1GcYXVx.
Online Resources to Help Siblings of Children/Teens with Mental Illness
Resources for Helping Teens with Mental Health Problems
• Crisis Text Line: Free, confidential 24-hour service accessible via text message to number 741-741. Statistics show that only 5% of teens are willing to call phone crisis lines, but they’re more willing to text. People can text anonymously with a crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line. Visit The New York Times website athttp://nyti.ms/1MK416g for more information.
• OK2TALK: The goal of OK2TALK is to create an online community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems and encourage them to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope. Visit www.ok2talk.org
• NAMI Say It Out Loud program, which increases awareness and discussion of mental health conditions among 14-18 year olds:
o poster available at http://bit.ly/1GgZDGU
o video available at https://vimeo.com/121071189
o additional resources available at http://bit.ly/1C9d2xT
• Teen Health and Wellness website provides hotlines, help lines, and information lines, organized by subject: http://www.teenhealthandwellness.com/static/hotlines#Mentalhealth
o “What Families Need to Know about Adolescent Depression,” including symptoms of teen depression, suggestions about how parents can communicate effectively with their teen and record symptoms, history, etc., to help a teen get an accurate diagnosis: http://bit.ly/1LLBlnm