December '19 Newsletter

Tis the season to contemplate the past year, celebrate the current year, and consider the upcoming year.

Noting that the holidays have their stresses, here are a few tips for getting through.

It is useful to note that the needs of our loved ones are very typical for all of us as we go through holidays and other celebrations!

Maintaining routines gives a sense of stability and security.  They are also useful for reducing stress.

Applying coping strategies when anticipating potentially disruptive events reduces anxiety.  For example, if gifts are involved, explore ways to give that do not cost anything.  These could be anything from homemade cards, cookies, volunteering to run an errand or do a chore, or whatever else can be of value to another from loved ones.  By the way, this is not a bad ritual for families to implement anyway!

Set realistic goals meaning the idea of specific, measurable, applicable, concrete, and time-limited.  For example, we will have a quiet holiday meal at our house consisting of turkey sandwiches, sweet potato chips, and pumpkin pie the night before Holiday Eve.  It will be just you and me.

No matter how the family makes adjustments to its members’ various needs, for their loved one with a mental health condition, it is important to:

  1. Remember the PERSON and not just the illness.
  2. Reach out regularly so that there is a sense of support.
  3. Allow them to bow out gracefully
  4. Provide less intense options for participation (delay, reschedule)
  5. Embrace the opportunity to grow as a resilient, strong family.

We at Grow a Strong Family are especially grateful for our own growth and our increasing ability to support families uprooted by mental illness.  Through the generosity of CHNA15 community mini-grants, donors including those who held events for us (Laura Baliestero’s gala), donated cars and boats through our participation in the program (Charlene Berkman donated a yacht), and donors who contributed in platinum support (Sara Rolley), as well as so many others who sent donations throughout the year including memorials and honorariums, through our webpage, we say thank you.  There have been donations of time, reductions in fees, and so many other means of support. Thank you one and all!

What have we done with this?  We have upgraded and increased the options on our comprehensive multimedia webpage.  We have engaged in developing a family members’ support program (inspired by and with the blessing of Nancy Pizzo Boucher) that is currently being designed for teaching other facilitators throughout the world to follow our model and support families.  We have published on amazon. (https://growastrongfamily.org/booklets-available-on-amazon/) We have created cards as another way to support families https://growastrongfamily.org/for-sale/.  And we continue to dream, plan, implement, and grow.  We cannot do it without YOUR support.  So, thank you!

Visit  https://growastrongfamily.org/donations/  to donate a car, boat, truck, camper, whatever.  You can also donate in memory of or in honor of and we will publish your generous thoughtfulness.  You can donate because you value what we do!  

You can donate on our facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/growastrongfamily/  In fact, become a friend.  We are always posting resources, ideas, suggestions, etc to get though the times as they are upon us.

May you have a healthy, blessed end of the year.  Thank you.