Most parents would tell you that raising a child, with all the challenges the job entails, is the most wonderful blessing they’ve experienced in their lives. We think our children are divine beings, brought to this planet to teach us, as we’re teaching them. We have someone who will always be the most important person in the world to us, including ourselves.
Some parents face an especially difficult challenge, however, when their child exhibits signs that his or her brain chemistry is a little to one side or the other. A boy might not really care about relating to his schoolmates, or a girl might go into cycles of horrible lows and scary-exhilarated highs, or vice-versa, or some other sign that keeps a parent up at night. Mental illness can tear families apart.
But it doesn’t have to. Meet Nancy Pizzo Boucher, an author whose family has direct experience with these disorders and who has devoted her literary career to mental health advocacy. She will speak about her newest book, Replanting Lives Uprooted by Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Families, at the Freeport Community Library (10 Library Dr), on Monday the 6th at 6:00 p.m.
Boucher’s presentation will be approximately 90 minutes long, and will cover several of the topics under the mental-health umbrella, including the general impact of mental illness on families, the importance of a ‘person-first’ approach to healing and rebuilding relationships, how to partner with those who have lived and are living the experience to support regaining wellness and advocating for loved ones, even a brief history of the origin of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). She uses terms like ‘best outcomes’ when speaking of the healing process, and a quick reading of her book confirms the fact, her approach is businesslike and goal-oriented. Considering that families sometimes have to cross chasms that many of us would find impossibly wide, her go-get-em methods are sure to be of interest to parents whose kids might be going through symptoms.
Boucher’s first career was in special education, spanning 24 years. When her first-generation Italian-American family was struck, she went to work, and soon was speaking up in legislative hearings on mental illness, blogging, advocating, and being a family speaker for Voices of Recovery of Portland. Now she is in crisis intervention. If your family is struggling with the effects of mental illness, go hear Nancy speak. You won’t regret it.
Freeport Community Library: (207) 865-3307