Your everyday reality is that you don’t just have a lot of kids you counsel and support, you also have their parents or caregivers. We acknowledge that working with families isn’t always easy. We can seem too involved, too demanding, and sometimes absent. This can be due to a lot of things and we may not always show up at our best. Just like you have parents as part of your school community you are part of our extended family because you spend time with our kids, you impact them and we need you. We need to have a relationship or at least a connection with you. Much like a family, we don’t always get along or agree, but we do need to work well together for the kids.
In this session, we want to share some of our experiences with educators and counselors and describe what it looked like and sounded like when we worked well together to support our kid’s mental health and how it really made a difference. And, just as important, we want to hear from you about some of your experiences with parents or caregivers and what helped you work well together. We really mean it when we say we need each other and we will share how we help and support families.
In connecting with families for over 20 years, FamilySmart has shared our lived experiences to help others have better experiences that lead to better mental health for our kids. We believe that exceptional care and caring are imperative to the mental health of young people. We offer peer support, events, resources, and workshops to support the mental health of children, youth, and young adults. When families connect with FamilySmart, they are connecting with people who really KNOW the journey. We get it.
Victoria is a Mom of two. One lives with anxiety and depression. School experiences, both easy and hard, had a big impact on their mental health. As a Manager and Facilitator with FamilySmart and former Peer Support worker, the work she does is informed and reinforced by the learning she received from her child's struggles along the way. Connecting through conversation and perspective sharing is her way of sharing what she’s learned.
Marlisse was a Parent in Residence with FamilySmart for 11 years and provided peer support, resources and navigation to parents and caregivers whose children faced challenges with their mental health. She is now a Support & Development Coordinator, training new peer support workers and providing personal and practice support to FamilySmart’s staff team. Marlisse is the proud mother of a young man who faced significant mental health challenges throughout his earlier years, including ADHD, Oppositionality & possible early onset Bipolar Disorder. He is her greatest teacher.