After Friday's deadly rampage at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 20 children and six adults at the school, many organizations have set up ways to help.
As a result of the shooting, many parents have spoken out about their own child with mental illness. Some parents are worried, saying their child needs help.
Other organizations that can help the parents or caregivers of mentally ill children:
Your state: Each state runs a mental health agency under the aegis of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Click HERE to find mental health programs and treatment facilities in your area. The agency also runs a free disaster distress helpline for anyone who is experiencing distress as a result of a natural or man-made disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990.
NAMI: The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a grassroots organization that provides advocacy for the access to services and support for the mentally ill across the United States. Its more than 1,000 affiliate organizations across America also provide education and training for parents of mentally ill children and adolescents. NAMI's Child and Adolescent Action Center offers peer discussion groups and other support for teens who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, as well as peer support for parents and caregivers. Click HERE to find your local NAMI affiliate.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The free lifeline is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to people who believe they are in crisis, even if they are not contemplating suicide. "People have called us for help with substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, illness, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and even loneliness," a message on the organization's website says. Click HERE to go to the website, or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected to a counselor at anytime. The organization also provides specialized help for young adults and veterans.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: The organization's website offers links to resources and treatment options, as well as simple definitions for disorders, symptoms and signs of mental disorders, answers to frequently asked questions, a medication guide for parents, clinical resources and expert videos, and other information. The AACAP also offers Facts for Families , a free comprehensive guide for families dealing with children with mental illness. The guide is available in English and Spanish, and other resources are made available in Chinese, Malaysian, Polish, Icelandic, Arabic, Urdu and Hebrew. Click HERE to go to the organization's resources page.