Focal Point Summer 2008
"Caregiver–Child: Mutual Influences on Mental Health" (2008), v.22(2)
This issue of Focal Point—through a consideration of personal, lived experience as well as practice and research—examines the mutual impact of caregiver and child mental health, and highlights practical strategies to promote positive outcomes for children and caregivers who experience mental health difficulties.
Access Articles in this Issue
Introduction: Caregiver–Child: Mutual Influences on Mental Health
Walker, J. S.
This article introduces this issue of Focal Point—through a consideration of personal, lived experience as well as practice and research—examines the mutual impact of caregiver and child mental health, and highlights practical strategies to promote positive outcomes for children and caregivers who experience mental health difficulties.
Family Options: Supporting Parents with Mental Illness and their Children
Hinden, B. & Wilder, C.
Families in which parents have mental illness pose challenges for children's systems of care. This article discusses how the Family Options program advocates for systemic expansion of programming for this population and for the re–alignment of child and adult mental health services to reflect a family recovery approach to care delivery.
Family Options & Recovery from Mental Illness: A Parent's Perspective
[Interview with] "Mary,"a parent
"Mary" talks about her experience as a parent with mental illness, her recovery, and her experience in Family Options.
Building the Foundation for the Family Options Project
Nicholson, J., Biebel, K., Williams, V., & Albert, K.
This article describes how the long–standing partnership between Employment Options, Inc., a psychosocial rehabilitation agency in Marlborough, MA, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School's (UMMS) Center for Mental Health Services Research led to the development of the Family Options program.
Promoting Maternal and Child Well–Being: Research from Early Head Start
Ayoub, C., & Chazan–Cohen, R.
This article assesses the findings of a recent evaluation of Early Head Start, a program that serves young children (ages one to three) and their families by providing child development services and parent support. The study found that the program buffered mothers against depression and buffered children against the effects of parent depression.
"You'd Be Depressed Too": Treatment Acceptability among Mothers who Are Economically Disadvantaged
Gowen, L. K.
This article discusses why the rate of use of mental health services is relatively low among mothers who are economically disadvantaged, even though this population has very high rates of depression and emotional distress.
A Daughter... and a Mom
Felicia, age 22, talks about her struggles to overcome her own childhood abuse and neglect in order to make a better life for herself and provide a loving family for her young son.
The Mental Health of Rural Grandparents Rearing their Grandchildren
Bailey, S. J., & Letiecq, B. L.
In many modern grandparent–headed households in the U.S., grandparents are not rearing grandchildren by choice or tradition but rather because of family crises that necessitate grandparent intervention. This article examines both the challenges these grandparent caregivers face, and the supports that are available to them.
Antidepressants in Pregnancy: Weighing the Risks
Research studies have indicated that maternal depression during pregnancy can have significant negative effects on both mother and fetus. This article weighs the possible benefits of taking certain types of antidepressant medication during pregnancy against the potential negative effects of going without.
Identifying Depression in Mothers to Support Young Children
Mills, C., & Riley, A.
Children of depressed mothers are more likely than other children to develop early and lifelong emotional, behavioral, and adaptive difficulties. This article recommends three basic steps for encouraging screening and treatment of depression in mothers to benefit both mothers and their children.