January 10, 2022

How a caregiver support group helped me.

By Nicki Straza, Youth and Family Engagement Lead

Knowing I am not alone!

I burst into tears, unable to contain the shame and pain I felt at what my family was going through. I needed to get it out and talk about it even though I felt alone and powerless. My friend put her arm around my shoulder and simply said, “Oh man, I feel the same way.”

There is so much shame and isolation that we feel as parents when we struggle to know what to do, or how to respond to our children when they struggle. For myself, the pressure to have great kids and a perfect family not only affected my own mental health, but greatly impacted my ability to reach out for help when I needed it. Hearing my friend say she felt the same way suddenly changed everything for me. I wasn’t alone. Others struggled like I did. There was a safe place to share, be supported and learn from others.

This is the power of Woodview’s PCMH Parent & Caregiver Support Group.

Parents of children with mental health is a peer support group facilitated by people who are living it. You are not alone; there is support, ideas, and encouragement available to you. Research has shown that our own ability to be resilient and overcome challenges increases when we feel connected to others around us who understand and support us. If we are supported as parents, we become more equipped to support our families.

We know that COVID-19, school closures, financial stress and mental health are all a part of life and challenges as a parent. I hope you won’t wait to ask for help like I did.  Reach out today and join us virtually on the first Wednesday of every month at our new time 8-9:30 pm.

You are not alone!