A Snippet of what Grow a Strong Family Offers

Our panel discussion on Aug 29, 2018 went off without a hitch!  Oh, there were hundred degree temperatures outside.  Inside, however, there was cool air and a panel discussion with very knowledgeable  people.  Visit our “Panel” page (https://growastrongfamily.org/panel-discussion/) to see and hear the conversation in its entirety.  For now, enjoy the opening which features the founder of Grow A Strong Family succinctly detailing the many benefits to families that are offered by this organization!



Panel Discussion

Why do families uprooted by mental illness need support?
Wed. Aug 29 from 4-7 pm at the Bedford Council of Aging
12 Mudge Way (Park in the back)

The event includes an Open House from 4-5pm in which folks can browse the tables, see the programs that are available to them, take handouts, and meet Max the Therapy dog! Program staff will be available to answer questions. Light refreshments will be available!

From 5:30-6:30, there is a panel discussion about why families uprooted by mental illness need support, tools, resources.  We will answer the following questions and questions from the audience!

1) When do you know your loved one is going through more than a phase?2) How can you obtain help for a person that refuses help?

3) When do you call the police, or section a person; how bad is bad?

4) What if your loved ones with mental illness have minor children; how can we provide help for them?

Although the panelists will be taped by Bedford TV, audience members will notbe televised.The 50/50 raffle will be in full force!  There is a link on the website for participants to acquire a raffle ticket:  https://growastrongfamily.org/50-50-raffle/

Registration for the panel event is preferred but not required:  Event URL is https://www.eventbrite.com/e/why-do-families-uprooted-by-mental-illness-need-support-tickets-48595108277

Our Goal: Services and Care

Instead of using Mental Health Awareness Month to teach the public there is stigma to mental illness, let’s focus on demanding politicians create more housing, more clubhouses, more rehab programs, hire more doctors, build more facilities, and make transportation options available to those who need them. Let’s fight for more research, more hospitals, easier access to Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT), and laws that prevent someone from becoming danger to self or others rather than requiring it.

Read more at: https://mentalillnesspolicy.org/dont-use-mental-health-awareness-month-to-fight-stigma/

What do we really need? Consequences of the status quo

Learn more: Insane consequences: How the mental health industry fails the mentally

Please Donate!

January Newsletter

Grow a Strong Family Inc.
Monthly Newsletter
January, 2018
This Past Month: December on the Road

Like many of you, we took the opportunity to assess our progress this year and determine where we needed to make improvements. We are still a young organization and there is so much to do!

We have recognized a void in programming for families of transition age youth (15-25 year olds) who are aging out or in need of mental health services. As such, we are in the process of initiating the development of a module based curriculum of materials focused specifically on families with transition age youth. This is in addition to continuing to develop and distribute materials for all families uprooted by mental illness.

Most of the energy of this year has been expended in building our brand, developing materials, collaborating with community agencies, and writing and acquiring funding through grants.

We have also received many essential donations through our website Support Our Organization and our Facebook page.   Feel free to donate to our organization so that we may continue to bring free customized services to families uprooted by mental illness.

The group, “Replanting lives uprooted by mental illness: Support for families,” continues to explore the ways that families can strengthen their responses to the changes in the family when a loved one has a mental illness. The focus of this past month was on managing the holidays. Participants were encouraged to anticipate possible scenarios and prepare in advance for them. The sessions included exercises in using basic communication skills in order to prevent misunderstandings.

This FREE group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month from 7-8:30 PM at the Edinburg Center, 205 Burlington Road, Bedford. For questions and to register (recommended), please contact Janet Hodges at 781-761-5287 or jhodges@edinburgcenter.org

We also offered a daytime session of the “Replanting Lives” in Carlisle at the Gleason Public Library. It was a promising beginning as a handful of members of the Concord/Carlisle Community joined us in discussing how guilt and responsibility impacts our relationships with our loved ones. We are planning on offering another session in January!

Please help us continue to grow by filling out this survey

What’s New? January Happenings

Tuesday, Jan. 9: 10:30-12 at the Gleason Library in Carlisle. Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness: Support for Families – Finding the Person. It is easy to get caught up in the symptoms of mental illness/brain disorders and lose sight of the very person we love! This session guides family members on balancing the person and the illness. The discussion includes some strategies for managing more efficiently and respectfully. Join us as we discover how to create more resilience in our families. FREE! For questions and to Register (not required but preferred): or 781.405.8376

Wednesday Jan 17: Webinar: ADHD (Attention Differently and Happily Developed), 12-1 pm. Focus is on what ADHD is, symptoms, gifts, and strategies. Registration preferred:  ADHD Webinar

Wednesday Jan 31: Webinar: Moving On: Managing Ambiguous Grief. 12-1 pm When a loved one is diagnosed with a mental illness/brain disorder, our loved one and ourselves experience a sense of uncertainty and quite often a sense of loss as everyone grapples with the new circumstances. This webinar discusses how to cope with this difficult process. Registration preferred: Moving On Webinar

These tips are essential for getting through tough times!

Stick to your “normal” routines as much as you can
Eat and drink in moderation
Plan on exercise; build in “nature” time.
Make sure you have a Plan B and a Plan C in place for the unexpected
Keep music that you love on hand and listen to it when needing to
Prioritize your time, activities, and commitments (do what you want to and can)
Take good, loving care of yourself!

We have several pages on our website with presentations you may find useful:

Cope when loved ones are symptomatic

Parenting children with behavioral health issues

Caring for the caretaker

If you want to join our online community, please do!

Our public page is FB Public Page

Our private page is: FB Private Page

When extra support is desired, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at www.growastrongfamily.org

We appreciate the generosity of so many people who have donated to Grow A Strong Family! We cannot thank you enough in supporting this mission and nurturing its growth. As we grow, so do the families who are uprooted by mental illness. When 1 in 4 adults has a mental illness, we know that just about every family is impacted. Grow A Strong Family makes sure that they are not alone! Your donation helps us achieve this. Thank you again! Feel free to do so through our website http://growastrongfamily.org/support-our-organization/

May 2018 bring you and your family health, resilience, and love.

Have a healthy and peaceful holiday season.

Grow A Strong Family is a Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Working With The Families of Those with Mental Illnesses & Behavioral Issues

Closed Facebook Page Now Open for Members!

This is an online closed group for the family members and friends of loved ones with mental illnesses. It is a place where we can share our highs and lows, ask for and receive support, and get the resources we need.

Feel free to invite whomever you think would like to join our group. This group is a venue for cutting through the isolation that so often affects us. Posts are private and do not show up anywhere else. Inappropriate posts will be removed. And this group is an opportunity to share our hope, strength, and experience, our triumphs and our mistakes. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

The name of the group on Facebook is: Grow A Strong Family Inc. Together

Hope to see you there!