What is a “serious mental illness?”

A serious mental illness, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), is a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major live activities. This typically includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and chronic PTSD, but can include other mental illnesses if the status of the condition meets the NIMH definition.

What is considered childhood onset serious mental illness?

Childhood onset serious mental illness is defined as being diagnosed before the age of 13.

Do I have to share my or my child’s name when I share our story?

No. We understand that mental illness unfortunately has a stigma attached to it. Parents are often unfairly blamed for their child’s illness, and children need to have their privacy safeguarded. When you submit your story, in video or in text, you have the option to omit names. We will never publish a family story with a family name unless the family gives explicit permission to do so.