Making Meaning When a Child Has Mental Illness: Four Mothers Share Their Experiences

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Abstract

Approximately 15 million children in the United States can currently be diagnosed with a mental health disorder (APA, 2013). Families of these children experience not only grief and the challenge of managing the disorder, but also stigma, including rejection, misunderstanding, and a feeling of isolation. Nonetheless, some parents find or develop approaches for “making meaning” from the experience. Interviews of four mothers of children with mental illness demonstrate “making meaning” in ways that provide for personal growth, fulfillment, and support, while engaging in efforts that ease the journey for others in similar circumstances.

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