Support and Resources For You and Your Child
The Balanced Mind Parent Network is a community where you'll find resources, connection and hope for the road ahead.
- Several Online Support Networks for Parents of children with depression or bipolar ranging from toddler to 'transition age' (meaning late teens, 'young adults')
- Helpline that answers inquiries within 48 hours
- Flipswitch, the archive of our award-winning podcast and blog for teens and 'young adults'
- Professional Resource Directory that leads families to resources in their area
- Online Library
- Wellness Information, Tools, and Resources for individuals living with mood disorders through our parent website, DBSAlliance.org
The Balanced Mind Parent Network was born when it became apparent that parents of children with mood disorders needed their own community for support and guidance. Back in the 1990s, parents from around the country reached out through the fledgling Internet, hoping to find answers to their children's troubling behaviors. They formed a virtual kitchen table community, where all were welcome and where resources and understanding were shared.
Balanced Mind co-founder Ruth Field's first message online, to anyone who might respond, was just like many sent today: "My son has just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Is there anyone out there who understands?" Responses poured in from around the country, and Ruth recalls, "The sense of isolation I felt instantly lifted."
The Balanced Mind became a beacon in the storm offering answers, support and connection to families raising children with mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder. Parents struggling alone can link into a network of allies, accessible anywhere, anytime. Those seeking answers can find reliable information on treatment, school accommodations, cutting-edge scientific research and more through our online support communities and Family Helpline.
In January 2014, The Balanced Mind's family-focused programming became a part of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) program services and resources to improve the mental health of, and facilitate wellness for, individuals living with mood disorders from childhood throughout adulthood. Under a single organization, DBSA has the potential to provide consistent support to families and their children as they grow into adults living in mental health and wellness.
The Balanced Mind Parent Network is made up of a dedicated group of supportive, knowledgeable, and inspiring volunteers, led by DBSA Chapter and Volunteer Services Manager, Angie Day. This team and hundreds of fellow BMPN members provide support and guidance from the perspective of parents and guardians of children living with mood disorders.
Chapter and Volunteer Services Director
Angie brings many years of nonprofit experience to her role of Chapter and Volunteer Services Director at DBSA. With a history of fundraising and volunteer engagement experience, Angie is thrilled to be able to use her experience in her role with the Balanced Mind Parent Network. Angie began working with DBSA in January, 2015.
Chick retired from teaching ESL in Wisconsin in 2015, and joined the DBSA volunteer team that same year. He coached boys and girls tennis in his community, and considers tennis to be the best sport on the planet. He is father to four children. He first experienced the suffering of mood disorder 40 years ago. Having children who also live with a mood disorder, he believes in the value of sharing his story and experience.
BMPN Support Network Coordinator
Kathy Karle is the divorced mother of two sons. Her older son is a veteran of the war in Iraq who has battled PTSD and other health issues since his return. He is a college graduate, married and the father of Kathy’s first grandson! Kathy’s younger son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in fifth grade and struggled with medication compliance, substance abuse and legal difficulties as a teen. He was recently released from a three-year prison sentence and is getting back on his feet. Kathy has volunteered for The Balanced Mind for seven years.
BMPN Support Network Coordinator
Janice is a stay-at-home mother of three children who is also the chair of her local school system's Special Education Parent's Advisory Council. Her youngest son has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and autism. She has been a member of The Balanced Mind's online support networks since 2008 and a volunteer since 2010.