As a member of the Male species, I have the want to fix things when they are broken. I can honestly say, the children’s mental health system in Idaho is broken. I have seen this first hand before I became aware of the Parent Network. So, how do I fix it?
I have seven children and each of them have their own mental, physical, and developmental needs. How do I access the services and care my family requires within a broken system? I cannot fix the system myself, but my family can currently move forward finding solutions within ourselves. It’s like owning an old car that needs certain things to keep it working properly. General upkeep typically includes fluids, parts, tires, and so on. I am really good with this until the car stops running. Then I have to go through and find out why. Sometimes I can see really quickly why the car isn’t running, and other times it takes a while to look it over and find the problem. When I find the problem I realize I need to replace a part that doesn’t exist. Instead, I make due and put duct tape on it to get it running. It works, for a little while then I find other things start falling apart and I run out of duct tape. My old car is more duct tape than car and I want to take the car to the junkyard but it’s all I have.
I feel, at times, my family is driving around in a broken vehicle that is only being held together by duct tape and could fall apart at any moment causing a horrific crash of epic proportions. The children’s mental health system in Idaho feels an awful lot like this car. It’s the vehicle that gets our family to a particular destination, however, it’s broken down and only held together by the few bits of knowledge and tools I possess. These tools and knowledge were not easy to acquire. This is where the Parent Network comes in. The Parent Network is made up of other parents who are all riding around in duct taped cars but their cars have different kinds of duct tape. Their duct tape might be better and stronger than my duct tape. The bottom line is I have found a voice in helping not just my family but other families struggling with the same thing. Through the Parent Network, I can start to take off the duct tape and replace it with working parts.
The Parent Network provides support and a voice to fix the car from the driver’s point of view with the intention of preventing the horrific crash that comes from the car falling apart. The greatest thing I have found with the Parent Network is HOPE!