Someone you love has mental illness — your child, your parent, your friend: Support and solutions.
One out of four Americans have a close family member or are themselves being treated for mental illness. Applied to the 2004 U.S. census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people. It includes our parents, children, our grandchildren, our friends, those we work with, play with and live with. How can family and friends help? How can they gain the knowledge and guidance to recognize and cope with mental illness? How can those living with or assisting someone who is depressed avoid becoming depressed themselves? According to research, families that discuss mental illness and increase their understanding of the condition achieve long-term positive change in family functioning and increased resiliency in children – but how do we obtain that understanding?
These are the questions the 2007 Conference will address. This year’s speakers are nationally recognized experts on mental illness and the family. Psychiatrist Dr. William Beardslee of Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard University has studied, written about and spoken to many different audiences about how to cope with the anger, helplessness and resentment encountered when a loved one has mental illness. Psychologist Dr. Froma Walsh is on the faculty of both the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Pritzker School of Medicine. She has published and spoken extensively in the areas of family systems and family therapy. Ruth Fields, the co-founder and former president of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Institute, is a social worker, therapist and parent of a bipolar child. Discussion groups will be led by professionals who have studied and treated the many aspects of the family and mental illness. Our closing presenter, Father Charles Rubey of the Catholic Charities LOSS Program, is an exciting and inspiring speaker. The 2007 Conference will again be a most enjoyable and informative event.
If you want to know more about how you can help when someone you love has mental illness – whether you are a professional, consumer, family member or part of the concerned public – you should attend the 2007 Community Mental Health Conference.
Dr. Williams Beardslee, M.D., is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Gardner/Monks Professor of Child Psychiatry at Harvard University. He is the author of over 100 articles and chapters and books including the acclaimed Out of the Darkened Room: Protecting the Children and Strengthening the Family When A Parent Is Depressed. Dr. Beardslee is a frequent speaker and consultant on families and mental illness and serves as medical advisor to Families for Depression Awareness
Dr. Froma Walsh, Ph. D., is a Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. She is also co-director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Family Health, past editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, past president of the American Family Therapy Academy and recipient of their Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy, Theory and Practice award, and has written and spoken extensively in the areas of family systems and family therapy. Among her publications are Strengthening Family Resilience, Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family, Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy and Women in Families.
Ruth Field, LCSW, is the co-founder of the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Institute (“CABF”), its first board president and former managing director and a current member of the CABF board of directors. Ms. Fields is a social worker and therapist in private practice and the mother of a bipolar child. She worked as a clinician at the Josselyn Center and was the co-author if its manual Understanding and Educating Children and Adolescents With Bipolar Disorder: A Guide to Educators.