When you start a family, I think it’s safe to assume that you don’t consider the chance that one of your children may develop a mental illness ... at least we didn’t.
When our son was 13 years old (seventh grade), he became seriously depressed and anxious, and he considered suicide. Helping our son through mental illness was something that we were completely unprepared for. One day, as Nancy was rushing him to the emergency room, he tried to escape the car on the freeway. We were out of options, and the only psychiatric hospital anywhere close to San Luis Obispo was in Ventura. We hit rock bottom; we watched our son being led into the hospital for a four-day evaluation. We stayed in hotels; we worried about our 9-year-old daughter at home. We felt alone and without hope.
Our son is now healthy and enjoying college. He has learned to control his anxiety as best he can. Our family supports a local psychiatric in-patient facility in San Luis Obispo County. We are not a family to be feared by neighbors of a specialty care center; rather, we are the of a specialty care center; rather, we are the parents of a kid who was sick and needed help — locally.
Steve Lieberman, Grover Beach
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