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Good mental health and supportive relationships are an important part of navigating life when your child has a serious illness.
Mental health includes psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It includes how we feel, think, act, and relate to other people.
Having good mental health can improve medical outcomes and quality of life for both patient and family.
There are many challenges that can negatively impact mental health in families facing serious childhood illnesses. These challenges include:
Ups and downs in mental health while caring for a seriously ill child are normal. Negative thoughts and emotions are normal. Feelings of stress, worry, and sadness are normal, too.
Sometimes, these feelings are symptoms of a more serious problem like anxiety or depression. But, more often, these are normal reactions to a difficult time.
Healthy adjustment is a process. It can be easy to neglect mental health when the focus is on immediate medical needs. Even if you and your family are coping well, you might still benefit from mental health resources and support.
Support for mental health can come from:
Reviewed: February 2023