older person's hand and young adults hand

New Resources to Help Families

For Addiction, Eating Disorders and Mental Health Issues

SouthJerseyRecovery.com is a free web resource providing information about addiction, eating disorders, and mental health issues.

Studies have found that when someone with a depressive disorder abuses alcohol, both disorders are impacted and often become more severe. In the same vein, major depressive disorder is the most common co-occurring mental health condition among those with alcohol use disorder.

To spread awareness to the public, the organization recently published a guide covering depression and addiction where we expand on the connection between depression and drug addiction, treatment options, FAQs and more.  You can find it here: https://www.southjerseyrecovery.com/treatment-programs/dual-diagnosis/depression/

Suicide and drinking are linked, and it is important to be able to tell when someone who drinks may be at risk of killing themselves. You can find that information here:

For Children’s Mental Health

We’re previously recommended Nationwide Children’s Health’s programs for families dealing with childhood mental illness, including the On Our Sleeves campaign. The pandemic has worsened the situation, with one in 5 children experiencing mental health issues in a year.

If you would like to learn more addressing the policies and problems that are making it difficult to help children with mental illness, visit the Collaboratory for Kids & Community Health website.

The collaboratory focuses on four main areas:

  • Improving neighborhoods.
  • Addressing inequities.
  • Creating population health strategies to address the national shortage of providers to care for children’s mental and behavioral health.
  • Developing value-based care programs for those with limited financial resources.

For Seniors and Their Caregivers

Caring for seniors, no matter how much we love them, comes with a lot of challenges, including higher levels of psychological stress. This becomes worse when the senior has mental health issues. We will be covering this issue soon on Loving Someone With Mental Illness.

Meantime, caring.com has a caregiver’s guide that covers burnout and stress, including how to identify and manage each. We also discuss respite care options and share a list of helpful resources for caregivers. 

You can see them here:

If you know of other helpful resources, feel welcome to let me know. Thanks!

person wearing eyemask that says delusions

The Collected Schizophrenias

Esme Weijun Wang has published a remarkable collection of essays in “The Collected Schizophrenias” that present the experience of severe, persistent mental illness through the eyes of a high-functioning person/patient.

It’s harrowing to read if you have a loved one on the schizophrenia spectrum, no matter what their level of functioning. It gave me nightmares, but also insight. I’m glad I read it. I would caution against reading it at bedtime.

Ms. Wang has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and Lyme disease. She writes about her experiences with those illnesses as well as the societal issues that affect people with mental illness. And her writing is excellent, expressive and vivid.

Her ability to function is beyond extraordinary. It’s a gift from God for the rest of us. She is happily married to a man who understands her condition and is supportive. She has worked at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology as a lab manager. And the chapter “Yale Will Not Save You” covers her experiences as a student there.

She gives a view of what is actually happening to our loved ones that we would not ordinarily have. So I am grateful. But, again, I advise that this is a hard book to read when you have a loved one who is suffering from delusions and hallucinations. She makes the experience so vivid.