There are some changes coming to Far From Paradise!
When I started this blog, I anticipated it being solely a resource to help others navigate the mental health system but instead it has taken on an amazing life of it’s own. It has evolved into a place to share not only useful information for caregivers who are supporting loved ones through crisis but also a safe place for me and others to share real, raw and vulnerable lessons navigating through this lifetime of experiences. I look forward to the next chapter and continued evolution of this blog! Thank you for being along for this ride.
Not to be lost in this transition, is the starting point of this journey into supporting others who share the difficult path of loving and supporting those who are faced with challenges that are not always visible nor easily understood…
I am a mom who has been supporting a child through mental illness and the system of facilities, programs, processes, private insurance and public assistance. The information contained in this blog is based on personal experiences, lessons learned and helpful tools adopted to best support myself and my family during this traumatic and confusing time.
Most importantly, this blog gives focus to families who suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly find themselves in the midst of a Mental Health Crisis, with little forewarning and less idea of what they are about to experience.
In my personal story there was little warning, short of some teenage depression, some suspected drug and alcohol use and falling school grade point averages. We were completely taken by surprise when on December 23, 2010 we found ourselves sitting in the Psych ED of our local hospital.
This visit launched what has taken us on a journey through three states, Maine, Pennsylvania and New York and through 5 in-patient hospitalizations, numerous partial hospitalizations, skill building classes, a suicide attempt and 3 Residential programs (private and public).
This blog serves as a guide to dealing and working with mental illness services for the purpose of, but not limited to, helping to point out tools that work, pitfalls to watch out for, questions to ask, questions to ask again (I will definitely have a post around “No” not being the right answer) and how to work with private insurance, public assistance, and finding support resources along the way.
I would love feedback, ideas, other tools and techniques that help this journey. I am personally open to learn and grow my knowledge to continue to provide information out to those who seek it.