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Raising a child with mental illness

Continued from Page 7

We should also point out that in the beginning, she was only expected to respond 25% of the time - so 75% of the time they knew it would not happen!

No, we have not worked with Sick Kids although we know others who have. Our daughter has received care primarily through the Child and Parent Resource Institute (CPRI) in London, ON.

Darlene Wierski-Devoe: We were told at the old school that there was a waiting list and it would all take time so no an IEP was never put in place. This year we are taking some time to access Sydney's skills and knowledge. She felt so threatened in her previous environment that she was unable to perform so to be honest we never knew where she stood. Since September she has been bringing home a tremendous amount of work some of which is marked with scores and others that are just marked for completion. Her first test we received was a 26/27 and we were overwhelmed. As it stands right now she may be a little below grade but we'll see.

We were involved with Sick Kids but we've moved and now we have a different agency that holds the same type of program. We're just getting set up for that next week.

Karen Delaney from London: Hi, my name is Karen Delaney. My little boy age 6 was admitted to LHSC psychiatric ward last week. They have diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder and he also has sensory issues. He has been on respiridone and now also is starting prozac. The rage issues can be very violent. They were occurring at least once a day and sometimes last for 3 or 4 hours. Some days we would have 4 -7 episodes of rage. I have worked with an organization for 2 years now and I feel like I am not receiving the help or answers that I need. If you have any suggestions on where to go please let me know.

Heather Bishop and Sean Quigley: Our hearts go out to you! We know from our own experience how painful it is to hospitalize your child - we also have experienced the rages that you describe and it is exhausting!

You mention that you have been working with one organization, you did not mention a doctor or psychiatrist however - you may wish to seek additional support from them.

You are your child's first and best advocate and if you are unhappy, you need to seek the best treatment possible.

We are more familiar with London (because we live there!) and so we would encourage you to contact CSCN (Community Services Coordination Network) in London to enquire about alternate services. In addition, you may wish to visit our website for other links and information. You can also e-mail further questions to us there.

Christine Diemert, We've gone past our time, so I'll close the discussion now. I'd like to thank Darlene Wierski-Devoe, Heather Bishop and Sean Quigley for joining us today and being so candid.

Heather Bishop and Sean Quigley: We'd like to thank The Globe and Mail for the opportunity to participate in this article and forum. It has been wonderful to speak to people and if anyone has further questions, they can reach us through our website

Thanks so much Christine - it's been a pleasure!

Heather and Sean

Darlene Wierski-Devoe: Our family would like to thank The Globe and Mail, Christine and all those involved in this series. I hope that with each email, each person reading the blog and each time we tackle a situation with our children we realize that we don't need to be alone. Thank you for questions and feedback as it reassures me that it's for everyone's good that I share Sydney's story.

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Return to Breakdown: Canada’s Mental Health Crisis

Face it. Fund it. Fix it.

In Breakdown, The Globe and Mail documents the enormous, unaddressed cost of mental illness to Canadian individuals, families and society. The series closes with a search for solutions.


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People with mental illnesses face a stigma that can prevent them from getting care. It also stops the public from seeing the problem. Has mental illness affected your life or that of a loved one? Share your experiences with readers and let us know what single change in society or policy would help the most.

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