Approximately one out of five patients who are hospitalized with a mental illness have children. For children, hospitalization is considered one of the most stressful aspects of coping with a parent's mental illness. When a parent is hospitalized, most experts and families agree that providing children the opportunity to visit their parent is important. Children generally describe hospital visits in positive terms. The program, "Bringing All Relatives Together," serves hospitalized patients who are parents and their children, grandchildren, and siblings who are under age 16.
This program has been recommended as a "Best Practice" by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. It has also been embraced by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Ohio.
Inpatient Services: The BART's Place inpatient session is available to all minor (ages 16 and under) relatives of our patients. A licensed psychologist facilitates the inpatient session in collaboration with the hospitalized individual. The information provided to the children and adolescents in this session is tailored to their current developmental level and family circumstances. The intervention focuses on education, support and possible referral information.
Inpatient Education Group: "Communicating with families about mental illness": The inpatient group session is open to all patients currently hospitalized and is facilitated by a psychologist. Group members discuss common questions asked by their children and family members, ways to provide feedback, and community resources available to them after hospitalization.
Individual Consultation: BART's Place psychologists are also available to patients for individual sessions around issues related to their children/minor relatives. The sessions may address a variety of topics including but not limited to parenting skills, role/identity as a parent, managing mental illness in a family context, and talking about mental illness at various age levels.
Commonly reported signs in children: