In 1995, our daughter was diagnosed with a mood-related disorder, bipolar disorder. We had no understanding of what mood-related disorder was, how to cope with it, and even wondered what her future held. There existed many questions and uncertainties that needed answers.
Our daughter was getting the medical help she needed, however, as a family, we were left to fend for ourselves. As her mom, I had to make a call to the University of Calgary to see if she had completed her nursing courses for the year. When I inquired, I told the professor the situation and she quickly referred us to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). This was a gift.
One thing CMHA said to me that rung continually throughout our journey with the mood-related disorder was, “TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!” I thought, “What! How can I take care of myself when our family is in a whirlwind of emotions, confusion and lack of understanding?”
Taking care of yourself, along with many other lessons learned, are what I now teach other families navigating the tumultuous waters of mental health and substance-related disorders. Over the many years involved in learning how to help our daughter, identifying what has worked and not worked, and learning skills needed so our family could manage mood-related disorder more effectively, I felt a passion to be able to help other families with similar struggles achieve a healthy, happy, strong family long-term…welcome Cool Family Solutions.
Cool Family Solutions goal is to focus on collaborating and partnering with organizations to support and guide the entire family through the challenges of mood-related disorder and addictions. One of the main ways we do this is through the Family Strengths Builder Program. You can learn more about this program here.
Throughout this time, I have also become a Distinguished Toastmaster and do public speaking surrounding mental health and addictions. You can learn more about having me speak at your event here.
I wish you well on your journey and hope we can support you along the way.