When Parents Need Help

cropped-cropped-aprilyohe_hopeforhurtingparents-121.jpgThis is a great resource when you’re a parent who needs help with your teenage son or daughter – serious help. You’ve tried everything you know to do and nothing’s working. Counselors. Psychologists. Psychiatrists. Different discipline approaches. Prayer. Behavior challenges persist and you’re at the end of your rope.

At this point some parents begin to wonder if a therapeutic boarding school – or something like that – is what they need, but which one? And how do you find a reputable one that you can trust when it’s all new territory?

I have great news for you. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a mom who’s been in your shoes. She made the best choice she could for her son and it turned out badly – horribly. As a result, she determined to do something to be sure this didn’t happen to someone else. She founded The Envoy Group.

Three Weapons for Parents in Pain

Your daughter is an addict. Your son struggles with a mental health issue. They can’t stop cutting themselves. They’re in bondage to destructive behavior. Join the parents-in-pain club. We all struggle with so many feelings. At times it’s overwhelming. There’s nowhere to turn. You’re desperate to help your son or daughter, but you realize you’re powerless.

The core of this blog is from Moments for Families with Prodigals (moment eighty-one), a devotional book for parents in pain by Robert J. Morgan. He says we have three powerful weapons in the fight for our children’s souls – they are code named PTL. God wants us to be hopeful. Here’s how.

Where I Found Help When My Daughter was Diagnosed with Mental Illness

This is Mental Health Awareness Week. I remember when I had no awareness on this topic. I was clueless. I stilltrust13 remember how it felt when the psychiatrist told my husband and I that our then seventeen-year-old daughter was suffering with a mental illness – several, actually – also called brain disorders.

In shock, my mind reeled with endless questions: What are you telling me? I can’t believe this? What is bipolar or anxiety disorder? What does this mean for her future? Who can I talk to that will understand? How could this happen? Who can help me? Where do we go from here?

I had no clue. Most parents don’t.

That was twelve years ago. Since then, I’ve worked hard to find resources and connect with people who do understand. These are a few of my favorites:

NAMI – The National Association of Mental Illness; nami.org; their website offers an abundance of information and help; a free 12-week class (Family to Family and Peer to Peer) to educate and equip; and support groups for family members and for the person who lives with mental illness.

LEAP Institute – leapinstitute.com; help for family of those who suffer with mental illness who refuse treatment; founder, Dr. Xavier Amador’s book is a must have, I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help.

Facing Bipolar: The Young Adult’s Guide to Dealing with Bipolar Disorder, Federman and Thomson

Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, Mondimore

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About has Borderline Personality Disorder, Mason and Kreger

Brilliant Madness: Living With Manic Depression, Patty Duke and Gloria Hochman

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Kay Redfield Jamison


This blog is for you, the hurting parent of a child who suffers with mental illness – depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, PTSD, OCD, anxiety disorder, etc. I have a few questions:

What’s hardest for you?

What causes you the most pain?

What do you wish someone would talk about, but no one is?

What kind of help do you need that you can’t find?

Please share your comments to help me better meet your needs in future blog posts. Your input matters. Thank you!


This Bible verse brought great amounts of comfort:

“He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water (Psalm 107:35 ESV).”  

Compassionate Heavenly Father, please do this in our weary, worn hearts. It’s been so hard to see our child suffer. For some of us it’s been a really long time. Our soul’s feel parched and dry. We’ve felt powerless. Helpless. But we believe You can refresh and renew us. We’re counting on it. Keep us closely connected to You so we can survive this trial. You’re our life-giving Source. May we never stop coming to You for our every need – and our child’s.








What to do When Your Child Shocks You

My heart ached to hear about the shooting at the college in Oregon this past week. How shocked and grieved thehope16 parents must have been to hear of their child’s death or injury that day.  What a terrible thing to have happen. And then my thoughts were drawn to the parents of the shooter, Chris Harper. Of course he did a horrific thing and brought inconceivable heartache to countless people – but what about his parents? What about their pain and heartache? Also inconceivable.

How shocked and mystified they must have been and still are. They probably always will be. And he died, too, so they can’t ask him why. They’ll never have any closure. No answers. No reconciliation. No forgiveness – not in this world.

What do you do when your child does something that shocks you?

Something that rocks your world?

Something that changes your life forever?

Something you can’t fix.


You take one day at a time because you dare not try to figure out the future.