Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 16, 2009 7:11 AM

Take advantage of mental illness program

My wife and I recently completed our participation in the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Johnson County Family to Family educational program. We have spent most of our 46 years of married life learning how to be a significant partner in our daughter’s battle with “mental wellness.”

Since early grade school, this “problem child” struggled with what was eventually diagnosed as undifferentiated schizophrenia. We have spent a good share of 40 years making “trial & error” efforts to understand, to find support, to learn about mental illness, to communicate in a positive/constructive manner, to keep balance in our lives, to keep ourselves mentally and physically “healthy,” to trust doctors and teachers, to trust and include family and relatives, and, above all, to trust each other and to love our daughter.

Iowa City residents can and should be proud to know that the local National Alliance on Mental Illness of Johnson county has a wonderful program called Family to Family that can absolutely reduce the “trial & error” in your life or in the lives of your loved ones, who may be suffering from even mild depression. My wife, Judy, and I would like to challenge parents, families, teachers, and interested others to help us take part.

Don Kolsrud
Iowa City

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