Name of the program: Visions for Tomorrow.
Scope of program: The primary purpose of the program is to provide educational and emotional support to parents and caregivers of children and adolescents with emotional or brain disorders.
The program consists of a weekend workshop led by two trained educators who are themselves parents of children with mental health conditions. These co-facilitators have personally experienced the challenges and rewards of raising children with mental health disorders.
The course is free and covers such topics as brain biology, a number of specific childhood disorders that will be tailored to the needs of the participants, maintaining mental health care records, rehabilitation and recovery, the stigma attached to mental health disorders, advocating for the needs of the children, and developing self-care and coping skills.
The course also will offer participants an opportunity to share mutual experiences with the hope that valuable lessons can be learned from one another. In addition, free child care will be offered as an added service to allow participants the freedom to attend the workshop.
Who it's for: Visions for Tomorrow is designed for any parent or caregiver, such as grandparents, foster parents or extended family members who are caring for the needs of a child or adolescent with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Pervasive Development Disorder/autism, Tourette's disorder, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder, depressive disorder, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety, panic disorder, phobias or early onset of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder.
When it will be offered: The workshop will be offered Jan. 30th-Feb. 1, 2004.
Who's involved in providing and implementing the program: The program is a service of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. NAMI is a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by mental illness, increasing public and professional understanding of mental illness and advocating for quality health services.
The two workshop leaders are employees of the Minnesota chapter of NAMI in St. Paul who are being brought to the Brainerd lakes area for the first time by Bridges of Hope in collaboration with the Local Advisory Council on Children's Mental Health, Brainerd Tri-County Community Action Program, Timber Bay, Family Links and the local Brainerd chapter of NAMI.
For more information: Contact Linda Bowman or Tami Lueck at Bridges of Hope at 825-7682.
(Spotlight on Children's Mental Health is sponsored by the Crow Wing County Local Advisory Council on Children's Mental Health.)
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