September 23, 2004

Kids Left Out of Support Networks

Researchers from the University of Alberta have highlighted a troublesome lack in our support progams - specifically, a lack of any programs that address the unique needs of children affected by the mental illness of a brother, sister, grandparent, or parent.

Schizophrenia has many troubling or frightening symptoms - among them hallucinations, delusions, intense paranoia, mood swings, emotional withdrawal, and apathy - that some, and particularly children, might assume are part of the ill person's natural personality. Children can suffer from the lack of a warm, nurturing relationship with their parent without ever realizing that it is caused by a brain disease instead of personality traits.

Anyone who has had firsthand or personal experience with mental illness in the family already knows what this and other studies have indicated - namely, that such damaging emotional effects often linger as the child grows up, causing interpersonal difficulties later in life.

For the full story, see "Researchers find troubling offshoot of schizophrenia" (Sept 21, 2004) at EurekaAlert (

Support group suggesions for younger children:

The Sibling Project ( is "the only national effort dedicated to the interests of over six million brothers and sisters of people with special health, mental health, and developmental needs." They have programs in all fifty states and in some countries overseas. The workshops are geared mainly towards children ages 8-13, but some are modified to be helpful to older/younger children as well.

Read about some of the common emotional issues/concerns that children of parents with schizophrenia often deal with (compiled from our own members at, and other sources as well):


add some color to this site its sooo boring to read!!

Posted by: Rachel at September 24, 2004 04:34 PM

I have a 15 y/o son with schizophrenia. I would l ike to talk to other parents that have school age children with this also.

Posted by: Lisa at October 5, 2004 11:03 PM

I am interested in scholarships for children who have a Schizophrenia parent.

Posted by: Jessica Norberg at September 5, 2006 12:26 AM

Are there any scholarships for children who have a Schizophrenia parent?

Posted by: Jessica Young at February 24, 2008 04:25 PM

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