Mental illnesses affect one in five families. It cannot be overcome through “will power” and is not related to a person's character or intelligence.
Helen Coffey lives with regrets and she will no longer be silent. She has written “Don't Let Anyone Know” because she is committed to advocating for better attitudes toward mental health, more accessible treatment and better education and support for family members.
She says, “A place to begin is in a NAMI Family Support Group.” The website for the Oklahoma chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness is www.namiok.org.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.