A space where families can exchange information and share experiences to foster a dialogue that goes beyond the predominant mainstream medical treatment model. Welcome! This Mad in America (MIA) forum hosts online parent support groups. We have started these groups in response to the many inquiries we get from parents who are skeptical of conventional drug-based treatments for children struggling with mental health issues and are now looking for alternatives. We currently offer two groups—one in Europe and one in the United States/Canada; all are conducted in English. This initiative, begun in the fall of 2018, has generated strong interest, and we hope to accommodate as many people as possible. Therefore, the U.S./Canada group now operates on a weekly, drop-in basis, as your schedules and needs allow.
The support groups, which last 90 minutes, are moderated and provide a confidential space where people can share information and experiences that foster a dialogue about psychiatric diagnosis, the use of psychiatric medications, and non-drug alternatives. We hope these groups will help parents and other family members to feel less alone as they struggle to best help the children in their lives. Everyone in the group has the opportunity to speak, and everyone is expected to be respectful of others. The moderators occasionally invite guest speakers to the meetings. Although MIA is hosting these forums, the moderators do not represent MIA. Their opinions and suggestions are their own.
Please write to me with any questions you may have about the support groups. You may also want to visit our Family Resources section, which provides information about drugs, blogs written by both professionals and parents, Q&As, research news, and other informational links. To sign up for a support group, please click “sign up here” at the bottom of the page and then complete the form. –Miranda Spencer, Parent Resources Editor