From Heartache to Hope: The Aftermath of Newtown, CT
by Susan Resko, The Balanced Mind Parent Network Executive Director
The outpouring of emotion to yesterday’s blog posting left me sleepless for much of last night. For some, my words were empowering. For others, I inadvertently touched a raw nerve. Your comments made me realize that many of those who found power in my words have children who have improved. But, for many parents whose children have not improved with treatment, it was too painful to hear about a child who did get better. To those parents who were saddened by my words, I am deeply sorry.
But whether your child is symptom free, somewhere in between, or still struggling with severe symptoms, we need one another, now more than ever. So often, I reach out to parents whose children are doing well. I think that, if these parents are no longer fettered by the struggles of the illness, perhaps they will want to help our cause. All to often, these parents don’t want to think about mental illness. They want to bury the memory of the years when things were bad. They move on. They have hope.
There are many Balanced Mind parents who live each day with heartache because, despite their very best efforts, their children are not doing well. It’s my goal to move more parents from heartache to hope. The comments on my blog, while painful to read, galvanized me to keep fighting for more resources, better treatments and funding to provide you with the support you deserve.
The tragedy in Newtown has left us all raw, scared and deeply saddened. The media stories about Adam Lanza’s mental health are especially hard for our families to hear because they perpetuate old stereotypes. Children’s mental health is so often ignored; if I take the media focus and shine it on the needs of our children, the tragedy in Newtown will not be in vain.
I want to thank Karen, Julia, Janice and our Helpline team for responding to many posts on our blog comments and for connecting families to resources. We would be nothing without our volunteers. Thank you for your comments, support for each other and your financial support for our work. Together, we can move more families from heartache to hope.