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The Psych Central Podcast

The Psych Central Podcast is an award-winning, weekly show that approaches psychology and mental health in a casual and accessible fashion. Listen as our host, Gabe Howard, speaks candidly with experts to break down complex topics in simple and understandable ways.

For more information -- including guest bios, additional links, and transcripts, please visit psychcentral.com/show

Sep 19, 2019

Chrisa Hickey’s journey into mental health advocacy started when her son, Tim, was diagnosed with very early onset schizophrenia after being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time at the age of 11.  He had been showing symptoms for years and had received a half dozen different diagnoses. His family was desperately looking for answers.  

Tim’s illness took a toll on the entire family, which was only exacerbated by the lack of information and resources available to them.  In America, fewer than 100 children per year are diagnosed with very early onset schizophrenia. Chrisa had to find information and resources for herself and didn’t want anyone else to have to start from scratch.  And so the Parents Like Us Club was born.

Join Gabe and Chrisa as they talk about the struggles of dealing with a mentally ill loved one, especially a child.  And find out what has helped Tim, now 25, achieve the happiness and stability he has today.

Guest Information for 'Parents Mental Illness' Podcast Episode

In 2009, Chrisa Hickey began writing a blog about raising her son Timothy, diagnosed at age 11 with childhood onset schizophrenia. Marian, one of her readers (who later became a friend) commented that parents raising children with severe mental illnesses were sort of a strange little club, and that there were other "parents like us" that should be part of the club. In 2015, the club was formed. Chrisa began collecting stories of other Parents Like Us and posting them to her blog, www.themindstorm.net. But this didn't seem like enough.

In 2019 Parents Like Us Club Inc. became a 501(c)3 charity with the mission of bringing together parents raising children diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other life-threatening mental illnesses and serving three roles for this community:

  • Give voice to families raising children with severe mental illnesses by sharing their stories with other parents, the public, and the medical community
  • Provide resources and information for parents so that no parent has to try and figure out the complex maze of educating, treating, and caring for a mentally ill child on their own
  • Give parents the extra support they need by funding in-person advocacy services to attend school meetings, doctors appointments, meetings with social services, and judicial processes with parents, to help them navigate the complex issues that surround raising our kids

About The Psych Central Podcast Host

Gabe Howard is an award-winning writer and speaker who lives with bipolar disorder. He is the author of the popular book, Mental Illness is an Asshole and other Observations, available from Amazon; signed copies are also available directly from the author. To learn more about Gabe, please visit his website, gabehoward.com.