Let's Continue to Have the Conversation!
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The Federation hosted a thoughtful conversation on the harmful effects of stigmatizing mental illness as part of Speak Up for Kids. Sandra Spencer and Marie Niarhos spoke not only as national advocates for children's mental health, but also as mothers who have struggled to get help for their own children at school and in the community.
The women experienced firsthand the shame and disbelief their sons' diagnoses raised. Spencer noted that many people still don't accept that children can have a psychiatric disorder, and people often prefer to blame parents for a child's issues. "What they didn't understand was that as a parent, I already blamed myself," she said.
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