Sustain Recovery is proud to announce that we are now offering a peer support group for parents. The group will meet on Zoom every Thursday from 5:00-6:30 PST. We believe in the power of peer support and are excited to offer this opportunity to parents who need a group just for them. We invite you to visit our new group and see for yourself how you can benefit from being surrounded by other parents who understand your unique situation.
What Is Parental Peer Support?
While peer support groups are often thought of as only for people dealing with a specific issue, like a mental health challenge or addiction, peer groups for family members who want to support them have proven beneficial. A peer support group, by definition, is a group of people that share a similar experience and seek support in dealing with it. In a parental support group, the parents and guardians can benefit from receiving support and validation for their experiences. As parents who are trying their best to help their children who are struggling with important, potentially damaging issues, they deserve a sounding board like this. Parental peer support groups often meet in person but may also offer internet-based meetings or phone lists so members may contact each other 1:1, too.
Why Parents Supporting Each Other Is Important
Everyone is familiar with the rules airlines instituted for safety on their flights. In the case of an emergency, passengers who are parents are instructed to place the oxygen mask over their own faces before attending to their children. The reasoning for this is to ensure the parent obtains a position of being in control and better able to help assist their children by getting their oxygen masks in place next. The same applies to parents of adolescents and young adults managing their mental health and any co-occurring addiction to drugs or alcohol. A parent who is floundering, feeling unmired and out of control, and is running after their child trying to help them will soon be exhausted and ultimately ineffective.
Parents in a support group create a pseudo-family of peers who are in the same boat when it comes to dealing with adolescent children who are struggling with mental illness and other serious issues like addiction. Parents can trade stories with each other about their experiences, moments of success in helping their children, and ways to stay strong in their resolve to help their families heal. There is great value in parents being able to offer emotional support and a shoulder to cry on. Many parents also benefit from trading concrete ideas and information related to things like resources, referrals, and navigating an often complicated mental health system. They can also be steady reminders to each other about the need for parents to take time out for self-care.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that people who receive mental health services benefit even more when they take advantage of peer support groups. Participation has been linked to less frequent hospitalizations for those who have mental illness and reports of a higher quality of life. Other studies show that parents in a support group often feel less shame about their situations and less isolated. They enjoy a sense of more power and increased confidence in being able to care for their child.
Peer Support for Your Child
Once your proverbial oxygen mask is on and you are reaping the benefits of a parental support group, talk to your child about joining a group of his or her own peers. Similar to the benefits parents receive, adolescents and young adults who regularly attend support groups also find it can up their confidence factor and create a real boost in handling their issues. Younger people often find it difficult to believe others experience what they do, and they feel embarrassed to discuss it with those who have not been through it. Having a group of peers who truly understand their feelings because they have walked in their shoes can allow the child to open up and rededicate themselves to recovery and better management of their mental health diagnoses.
Every parent wants to dive in and save their child whenever they are in trouble. It’s one thing when your child is a toddler who skinned their knee or is frustrated over losing a favorite stuffed animal. When a parent is faced with much more grown-up problems like a child who lives with mental illness or addiction, fear, and frustration can quickly overshadow them and make it difficult to focus and implement a plan to help their child. Joining a peer support group may be the missing piece a parent needs to feel they finally have a handle on their family situation. We invite you to join our new support group on Zoom every Thursday from 5:00-6:30 PST. We look forward to seeing you there!
Parents of a child who deals with mental illness and abuse of alcohol or drugs spend an excessive amount of their time and energy trying to help their child. Too often a mom or dad neglects their own self-care without realizing it can negatively impact how much they are able to assist their child. Sustain Recovery is proud to announce a new peer support group for parents every Thursday from 5:00-6:30 PST on Zoom. Parents can come together to discuss their experiences and challenges of trying to help kids dealing with serious life issues. Peer support groups are proven ways to increase the effectiveness in positive parenting. Sustain Recovery also offers residential programs for adolescents who need assistance in managing their mental illness and other issues. Call our Southern California location today to find out how to get started with extensive treatment for your child while also learning how to take care of yourself. (949) 407-9052