Connie’s son was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was nineteen, just as he was becoming independent. He didn’t believe there was anything wrong with him. He did not want to seek treatment. And since he was legally an adult, his parents stood by and watched his life fall apart.
Ron’s story was much the same.
One in 100 adults is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and for most, the onset is around this time, in late adolescence, and parents often play a critical role in their care. As caregivers, crisis responders, money lenders…and often they end up having to figure out for themselves which services are available to them, in the complex network of programs that make up the community mental health system.
This is a story about what it’s like, day to day, year to year, to be the parent of an adult child with schizophrenia.
I’d love to hear your comments. Just go to the show page and scroll to the bottom and you’ll find a comment box there.
- Connie Stabler, a mother and Howard Center board member
- Ron, a father (note: we are only using Ron’s first name)
This show is part of a seven-part series I produced for Vermont Public Radio called They Are Us, which features personal stories from inside the state’s mental healthcare system.
Comments: Please make a comment or share a story if you’ve got one. Comments and conversation are part of the point!
Series Advisor: Dillon Burns, mental health services director at Vermont Care Partners
Series Associate Producers: Clare Dolan, Mark Davis
Series Executive Director: Sarah Ashworth
VPR Advisors: Franny Bastian and John Dillon
Mixing: Chris Albertine
Digital Producer: Meg Malone
Series Logo: Aaron Shrewsbury
Music for this series is by two excellent Montreal-based bands:
For more information about the series, visit VPR. You’ll find the series schedule and resources.
Very big thanks to the following people for their knowledge, time and advice: M.T. Anderson, Melissa Bailey, Gretchen Brown, Seleem Choudhury, Anne Clement, Jimmy Dennison, Isabelle Desjardins, Laurie Emerson, Deb Fleischman, Laura Flint, Al Gobeille, Alix Goldschmidt, Gary Gordon, Keith Grier, Heather Houle, Jenniflower, Karen Kurrle, Lt. Maurice Lamothe, Sabrina Leal, Fran Levine, Martie Majoros, Jack McCullough, Mark McGee, Megan McKeever, Betsy Morse, Bess O’Brien, Roxanne Pearson, Julie Potter and her beautiful daughter, Malaika Puffer, Michael Rousse, Marla Simpson, Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Sandy Steingard, Tony Stevens, Cindy Tabor, Gloria Vandenberg, Konstantin von Krusenstiern.