Mental Health Topics
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•  Children's Mental Health
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Strengthening Families

Invisible Children's Project Overview

Parents living with mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders face the same challenges that all parents face:
  • housing,
  • employment,
  • money management,
  • transportation,
  • childcare, and more.

They also face challenges specific to their illness:

  • medication,
  • hospitalization,
  • relationships with helpers,
  • and stigma, including the belief that people with mental illness should not have or raise children.

Families in which a parent has a mental illness or co-occurring disorders often have unmet service needs that can lead to family instability and disruption. Service systems may view adults with mental illness or co-occurring disorders in complete isolation of their children, and thus are not providing comprehensive, integrated services that could enhance family stability and self-determination. To service providers, the children of parents with mental illness or co-occurring disorders are often "invisible."

Strengthening Families Fact Sheets

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