You may find much of the information contained on NAMI’s website to be a helpful place to begin. In particular, Know the Warning Signs and our Teens & Young Adults sections cover a number of helpful topics.
The Treatment section of NAMI’s website provides an overview of the types of mental health professionals, types of psychotherapy and medications, treatment settings, and complementary treatments.
We would urge you to seek out your local NAMI Affiliate to sign up for NAMI Basics a free, 6-session education program for parents, guardians and other family who provide care for youth (age 22 or younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms. Caregivers learn the facts about mental health conditions and how best to support your child at home, at school and when they're getting medical care.
If your loved one is engaging in self-harm, NAMI’s website provides extensive information through blogs discussing self-harm to help individuals and loved ones gain insight into the condition and techniques that can be used to provide support and reduce and eliminate self-harming behavior.
Additionally, the Adolescent Self Injury Foundation provides information and resources to adolescents and young adult self-injurers and their families. In particular, their How Parents Can Help page provides a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to guide parents on how to help a loved one, and an extensive list of alternative behaviors to help self-injurers implement alternative coping mechanisms.
Obtaining special education services
You may find much of the information contained on the Life Care Planning FAQs page of the Special Needs Alliance to be extremely helpful. The Special Needs Alliance is an organization comprised of attorneys that specialize in issues that matter to individuals with disabilities– but which are largely unfamiliar to other counsel. They can advise about: qualifying and applying for appropriate public benefits; creating special needs trusts (SNTs) to protect eligibility for means-tested government programs; availability of local services and supports; special education; and guardianship and powers of attorney.
Understanding your child’s rights as a student
If your child is diagnosed with a mental health condition, the following resources may help you understand the rights they have as a student:
• Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates is a non-profit organization that protects the legal and civil rights of students with disabilities and their families. Their For Students and Families page provides downloadable .pdf resources.
• Understood for Learning and Attention Issues has information about school accommodations, IEPs, 504s, and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
• Center for Parent Information and Resources is highly informative on IDEA as well as other education related mental health laws.
• Learn about the Child Find mandate to understand the legal requirements for schools to identify children with disabilities who need services.