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Family Support for Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan: Part 1

How to be Present for Children Who Experience Emotional and/or Substance Use Challenges

The National Family Support Technical Assistance Center hosted a 3-part series for caregivers, family peer support specialists, and other members of the mental health and substance use workforce about how family members can support children who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges during their lifetime.

Participants joined subject matter experts in engaging discussions about attending to both mental health and substance use problems and their complex impact on families. Following a "fireside chat" with experts, participants joined partitioned breakout sessions based on child age (0 - 12, 13 - 17, 18 - 25, 26 and up.) Breakout discussions were led by moderators who invited attendees to share their lived experiences, questions, concerns, unique challenges, resources and support, as they relate to supporting children in each age group. After the breakout sessions, participants reconvened to synthesize ideas and identify goals for next steps. The topics and issues raised in breakout rooms during Session 1 guide the program for Sessions 2 (May) and 3 (June).

Learning Objectives
Participants will learn strategies for supporting their children – of any age – who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges across the lifespan using a 3-part framework.

  • The Observing Caregiver: How to recognize a child/loved one who is experiencing emotional distress or substance use challenges
  • The Relational Caregiver: How to communicate and relate with a child/loved one about what they are going through
  • The Self-caring Caregiver: How to take care of yourself to remain in a supportive relationship with a child/loved one and be the best caregiver possible

Access the webinar recording here and the presentation slides here.

Related Topics

  • Caregiving/Caregiver Support
  • Mental Health
  • Parenting/Caregiving
  • Substance Use
  • Addiction
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