Category Archives: Schizophrenia 3 Moms podcast

Growing Up Too Fast: When Your Parent has Serious Mental Illness

Our podcast, Schizophrenia: 3 Moms in the Trenches , continues – and to listeners who asked us, “what about the children raised by parents with SMI?” – we heard you.

This episode (42) is for you!

Guests: Karen Comba, author of The Snipers We Couldn’t See: A Memoir of Growing Up with My Mother’s Schizophrenia

And Christina Lord, mental health advocate (Canada) daughter of a dad with SZ, 

First, your stories.

How has the experience impacted you (Karen writes about life “with footprints on her back”)

How did writing or sharing about it help? Or did it?

How did your experience- and the unpacking of it – inform the work you now do?

What do you most want other children of parents with SZ to know?

What do you want others to know – teachers, practitioners, other adults in a child-of’s life?

How to find happier places for your mind?


Books we mention: (besides our own, Ben Behind His Voices, He Came In With It, and Fix what You Can)

She’s Not Herself, by Linda Appleman Shapiro (formerly published as Four Rooms Upstairs)

I’m Not Alone: A Teen’s Guide to Living with a Parent Who Has a Mental Illness, by Michelle D. Sherman

After Mental Health Treatment – What? Fellowship Place Gets it Right

Ten years ago, I toured a community with the following mission:

To serve adults living with mental illness by offering a full range of therapeutic support and rehabilitation services that promote independence, wellness, and a meaningful life.

This community is called Fellowship Place, and it represents what can happen when people come together to look past medical treatment alone – and add housing, purpose, structure, and community to the picture.

At the time, I wished Ben might be interested in living in such a caring, well-thought-out community. He wasn’t. But now, ten years later, he is open to the idea.

The only problem is: it could take a decade before a place opens up. I wish I’d put him on the waiting list ten years ago. It might take that much time.

We need more places like this.

Hear why:


Channeling Grief and Anger into Advocacy and Acceptance

Mimi Feldman, Mindy Greiling and I have been co-hosting our podcast, Schizophrenia: Three Moms in the Trenches, for almost a year now. Our 32nd episode this week has garnered more YouTube viewings in its first two days than any other so far, and guest Jerri Clark, our ” Fourth Mom in the Trenches” for this episode, is the reason.

If you want to know more, please subscribe to the podcast on itunes or wherever you get your podcasts, and/or on YouTube.  Our facebook page is @schizophrenia3moms.

Here are some of the notes:

What if: the mental health system would pay more attention, take more steps to help , before tragedy, violence, or crime finally calls attention to symptoms of SMI (serious mental illness)?

What if Darrell Brooks (charged with murder after plowing his mother’s car into a parade in Wisconsin) had been helped, and treated, instead of ignored or imprisoned? His mother, Dawn Woods, wrote a letter to the media. She, too, is a “mom in the trenches”. So is journalist/advocate/mindfulness coach Jerri Clark, our guest for this episode.

What if Jerri’s son Calvin had received treatment, despite his “civil right ”to refuse it – although the refusal itself is a symptom of his illness?

She says: 

 “I watched my son delivered into society’s underbelly by design. He spent months homeless, met law enforcement again and again, and tried multiple times to die. These traumas are part of a tragic inventory of the requirements for public assistance when someone has a serious mental illness”