Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Support Groups for Families

>> I cannot find on this website - or any other - a place to go to get support from other families who have dealt with this. Could someone recommend a way I might find a support group for the parents/families of young people with schizophrenia? <<

I am the father of a beautiful, generous, creative, sensitive, intelligent and thoughtful college-age son. In the past couple of months my son has exhibited a series of peculiar and worrying behaviors. The thought that he might have developed - or might be developing - a serious mental illness occurred to me, and on one occasion I talked to him about it. He said that he thought he was developing schizophrenia. We arranged for some general counseling (non-psychiatric) through his college. He felt that it was not helpful. Tonight we received a call in which he expressed a paranoid anxiety so disconnected from reality that the hair on the back of my neck stood up and the full weight of the situation he and we are in became impossible to avoid any longer. I have been doing research online for hours - this site is wonderful - and it is getting clear to me that we need to get my son a professional psychiatric evaluation immediately. We will do that. This is terrifying, I don’t want to make the mistake of trying to deal with it on my own. Thank you.

Here is a good start:

And for your son - I recommend you contact the following as quickly as possible:

I recommend you contact one of the centers listed here (see links below) that is closest to you and (if there none really close to you) then ask them for a recommendation of another clinic like theirs closer to you.

These centers are specifically set up to help people like your son as early as possible.

Here is another list of Early Psychosis Treatment centers - call them also if there is not one listed above that is close:

Welcome to the forum Guidance.

If you are in the US then check out for support groups in your area. Getting your son diagnosed is the first step and you will need continued support.

I am also part of a group on Facebook that you may find helpful. It’s called Parents of Kids with sz although a lot of other disorders are talked about too and there are parents ranching from all ages of kids. My son is 20.

Read through this the family category as there is a thread on caregiver stress. You need to take care of yourself too and find ways to cope so that you can stay strong.

Contact your local psychiatric hospital and ask them about support groups for families. I live in Ireland and I know there are support groups for families, so Im sure theres support groups for families in your country.

This time of year many NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Family-to-Family classes are starting up again in the U.S. They are not offered everywhere, but I encourage family members and friends to see if there is a support group in your area, and especially to attend a no-cost F2F class, if at all possible. Classes are @ 12 weeks but may only be offered twice a year. There is other good information and resources on this site, also. We need information, understanding, and support in this journey.