It’s time for parents to speak up.
Sarah’s quiet family life was upended when her 13-year-old daughter Audrey became medically and mentally unstable as a result of anorexia. After Audrey approached her mom for help, Sarah turned to their family pediatrician who took the life-saving action of admitting Audrey into an eating disorder clinic that supported her recovery through therapy and individual and family counseling for 15 weeks.
Having suffered herself from anorexia at a younger age, Sarah wanted to protect her daughter from the stigma and shame that often accompanies a mental health diagnosis. Their family became isolated from friends and family who didn’t know how to respond, or how to help. The loneliness resulting from the experience made Sarah realize that it’s time for parents to remove the stigma of mental health and start helping and supporting one another through what can be arguably one of the scariest and most devastating times in their lives. If parents don’t feel supported, it can often slow the process of the child and their entire family’s healing.
Sarah took time to open up about the situation to friends and family to help them understand that even the smallest gestures of support – a phone call, a walk in the woods or a cup of tea – can make a world of difference. Sarah hopes that parents can remove the stigma of mental illness and continue to support one another for generations to come.