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“When my son was having challenges, there were so many people telling us what to do. Our relatives, our pastor, his schoolteacher, and finally, psychologists and psychiatrists, all seemed to have opinions on why he was acting the way he was. All I knew was that I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t understand what he was doing, and I couldn’t figure out how to get help from all these different points of view. I started to wonder, whose child is this?” - Parent
Does this sound like your situation? You may have already worked with some of the child-serving agencies mentioned in this site like child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health and your school... perhaps with some success or maybe very little.
In either case, it can be confusing to know where to go and how to go about getting services for your child. What follows are suggestions on possible next steps if you are unsure of what to do next.
Slow down. Even if you are in a crisis, taking just 5 minutes to assess the situation and identify your options can help reduce anxiety amidst the chaos. It can help you feel more in control of what seems like an uncontrollable situation.
If things are really confusing and you truly don't know where to seek advice then call Better Days Ahead, a service of the Mental Health Association by calling 585-325-3145. Explain your situation and they will connect you with a person in their office who can assist you in making sense of what is happening with your child.
A family mentor from Better Days Ahead will understand your concerns because they, too, are parents who have been where you are. They are able to share information about services and the mental health system and how to go about getting help.
If you're just starting out looking for information on services and supports for your child and family AND you live, work, play or your child goes to school in the Southwest area neighborhood, northeast section or are Latino then consider contacting the Community Care program in those communities. A Parent Resource Expert will assist you by first seeking to understand your situation and then by facilitating connections to services or supports which you will have identifed together.
Another resource is the Mental Health Association (MHA), which is the agency where the Better Days Ahead program is located. The MHA has a variety of services especially geared toward mental health, including advocacy and they can help with referrals to other services and programs. For a complete list of MHA services go here.
Yes! Supporting families is a core principle of System of Care and Better Days Ahead (BDA), a service of the Mental Health Association of Rochester, specializes in providing supports for families who have a child(ren) with emotional and behavioral challenges. Learn more.
Meet other family members and caregivers who gather monthly to learn about a variety of topics ranging from child behavior to understanding Medicaid and anything else related to raising a child with mental health challenges and provide input into how to change the system. Learn more.
Children and adolescents with mental health issues need to get help as soon as possible. Here is a short list but click here for a more complete list of signs and symptoms.
Models are being used for illustrative purposes only and are not personally endorsing this organization.
Comments or suggestions? Please e-mail webmaster.
Funding for this website was made possible (in part) by Grant No. SM57043 from SAMHSA and in partnership with the Monroe County Office of Mental Health. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the United States Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.