Parenting is hard enough, then add in mental illness, and it can seem hopeless. Breiane met Kimberly, a mom all too aware of the lack of resources for parents dealing with mental health issues in their children. After years of struggling without answers, she decided it was time to take action for herself and all the other parents who were struggling. She went searching for someone who could not only facilitate a support group, but could also provide answers and education to parents like her. When Breiane heard her story, she was more than happy to help.
Here is Kimberly’s story…
I created this group because as a single mom struggling to help my teen daughter with her mental health issues, there was never any support for me. I had so many questions on what to do with situations I’ve encountered daily with her. The therapists and doctors often told me to just focus on my own self-care. Not only did I not know what to do, I was not comforted with any answers. The focus was always on her, no support groups for this kind of thing.
When my daughter was at the end of eighth grade, I got a call to work that she had brought cigarettes to school. That was over three years ago. Never did I imagine this nightmare was just the beginning. She started to become more distant, quiet, and withdrawn. We had always been so close, I thought it was just teen hormones. As time went on however, I discovered she had been cutting her arms and legs. I was devastated and scared. I didn’t know a whole lot at the time about cutting. She became depressed and ridden with anxiety. Her friends were slowly withdrawing from her life. Even though we were both in therapy, things became worse.
She started skipping school, smoking pot and vaping, her honor roll grades went way down, she began sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to meet a boy. She became sexually active at age 15. The cutting continued and her behavior also became more defiant and aggressive. I became scared of my own child. I didn’t recognize her anymore. The police later became regular visitors.
Nobody understood what I was going through. I was mentally exhausted and started to self-medicate with alcohol. I started to lose time at work because many times she was still missing when I woke up. The most frustrating part is I felt so alone with no answers. We tried an outpatient facility during school hours but had no positive effects. After an attempted suicide, we waited in a children’s hospital for about 8 days until a bed became available and she was admitted. The facility was over an hour away from home. I lost more time from work and was eventually fired.
She has come a long way since then, now in the 12th grade. We’ve begun to grow our relationship again, she’s been on medication for depression, anxiety, and bipolar. But while dealing with so many hospitals and therapists, the only advice I was given was to take care of myself. There were no answers for how I was to deal with her and the daily struggles. I found support groups on social media for parents also struggling. I love the groups available, but I still felt like it were the parents or caregivers who were also struggling with also no answers. What I was REALLY seeking out is just that, a support group for parents that could vent, share, disclose their private personal struggles with no judgement. But more importantly, we would all be able to do so within a small group setting with someone who can facilitate this parent support group with some actual answers. The facilitator is a therapist in Texas, who is so personable and amazing. She is here to guide us all through this in a super relaxed session 😉 I hope you can join us for the support we all need. I’m a mom and get it. I may also show up with no makeup and a hat!
Together, Kimberly and Breiane, have created a place of support for parents. The goal of this group is to share, laugh, cry, bond, and most importantly know that you are not alone in this journey. This is not therapy, but more of a support system filled with knowledge and ideas to share with you. We have created a multi-faceted solution to fit the needs of parents. From small group meetings via zoom to an educational series, the needs of parents are our first priority. PAASI stands for Plan Action to Achieve Success & Ingenuity, and that is exactly what we hope to help parents do. If you feel you need therapy, please contact PAASI Family Therapy or a therapist in your area. Join the parents support group by filling out the form below! Once we place you in a group, we will email you the day/time and consent forms to fill out. We look forward to meeting you!
Education + Support Group ($30 per 1 hour session)
This group is a structured 12-week educational series of topics, evidence-based skills that can be used to proactively help a child’s mental health, while also attending to the members and their current day-to-day struggles. Some of the topics include managing stress, responsible decision making, emotional regulation, childhood development, family safety plan, gratitude, hopes and dreams, etc. Each session will include an educational portion and a support discussion among members. Education and group facilitation will be done by Breiane Cage, MA, LMFT-A, Certified Life Coach.
Support Group ($25 per 1 hour session)
This group will be an open discussion about current day-to-day struggles. Each member will have time to talk about their own personal issues, and possible solutions will be the focus of responses from other group members and the facilitator. Group facilitation will be done by Breiane Cage, MA, LMFT-A, Certified Life Coach.
Private Facebook Group ($20 a month)
This group will be a place for daily interaction. It will allow the members to ask questions and receive feedback between group sessions from both Breiane Cage, MA, LMFT Associate and fellow parents who have previously dealt with the same issues. It will be a place of education, encouragement, and support.