Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Mental Illness, Desperation, Suicide, Murder, and Parenting
It is sad to see the latest murder-suicide of a Mom and her children reported in Florida. There are so many families, there are many people with mental disorders or those kinds of issues who are exceptional parents.The main issues effecting these families is to develop a safety plan. Depending on the disorder parents need to develop not only a team of professionals who can help them to manage the illness. But, also a group of family and friends who are willing to help in cases where the parent's illness becomes less manageable.
Creating a safety plan is very important to the health and well-being of everyone most especially the children. A safety plan starts by having one or two people in the life of a person who checks in with them on a regular basis. This person(s) provide accountability partnership to the parent. (See blog post http://beliefinparenting.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-parent-relationships-can-improve.html). In addition, this person can serve as a respite caregiver for the children if the parennt is experiencing difficulty. There are other steps to a safety plan for suicide prevention. Recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed or when suicidal thoughts are creeping in. Make sure you see and seek the help of a mental health professional. Create a safe environment in your home.
Things like this can be prevented by careful management and teamwork. The parent needs to create a safety plan preferably with the assistance of a mental health professional. Then every person who is part of the team helping this person should have a copy of the plan and be very familiar with its use and what supports they can provide. We can work to prevent this from happening. How? If you have a friend who has these kinds or similar issues get involved. Talk to them about a safety plan and become a part of the team!
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has a PDF a template for writing a safety plan. .http://www.sprc.org/sites/sprc.org/files/SafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
Believe in Parenting!