"During the time that my 4-year-old child was in out of home care due to my substance use disorder (SUD), I knew I was also dealing with an undiagnosed mental health situation. I would have episodes of being unstoppable followed by days or weeks of not being able to be motivated to do anything or being able to see anything as a success. I was able to recover from SUD and reunify with my 5-year-old, but the ups and down continued. I was terrified about having my treatment/child welfare team learn I also had bipolar because I thought it would completely derail the progress of my case and wouldn't give me enough time to stabilize. I white-knuckled it, reunified and *then* got the help that I needed to address bipolar disorder. I'm lucky I dodged a bullet, but I wish that I would have felt supported to address *all* of the major barriers/needs to quality parenting during the life of my case. Instead, I reacted with fear and stigma that the system would have made it impossible for my family to come together again."
Family Voices United member, China, shares her thoughts on mental health supports and how to better support children, youth, and families.