When my husband and I began our difficult journey with one of our children we had no idea who to turn to or where to find the resources we needed. Clueless, we isolated. Isolation and ignorance only made our situation as brokenhearted parents much harder.
Fear, anxiety, and sorrow increased day after day. Over time we met other parents who were going through similar struggles with their teen or adult children. We weren’t always dealing with the same troubles, but together we helped each other find the help we needed.
Our children’s issues covered an array of topics: alcohol and drug abuse, mental health diagnoses, self-injury, pornography, gambling, video gaming, LGBTQ issues, suicidal ideation/attempts, unplanned pregnancies,or incarcerations.
Since finding resources was challenging, I wanted to share some of our favorites with you today. Discovering them took many years. All are listed on our website under the “Parent Resources” tab.
Hope for the Heart – Offers Heart Care Representatives to talk with 24/7 including holidays 800-488-HOPE (4673). Bringing hope and seeing changed lives for over 30 years through radio broadcasts, biblical counseling, free downloads and other materials.
Hurting Moms, Mending Hearts – A faith-based community of moms designed to be a safe place where moms can come together online, or in support groups, to share with one another while they work through a process that will bring them freedom and healing from their pain.
New Life Ministries – New Life Ministries offers compassionate and empowering solutions to those who find themselves in life’s difficult places and who are missing what God desires for their lives. Family, friends, and churches want to help but are not always equipped to care for those dealing with problems like addiction, pornography, infidelity, anxiety, anger, fear, depression, and hurts from the past.
Prayer for Prodigals – A website developed by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) to offer hope, encouragement, and community as you pray for your loved ones. Confidential and password protected. Full of resources: scriptures, prayers, devotionals, places for help and much more. Send an email to PrayerforProdigals@gmail.com to request an invitation to join the site.
Prodigal Child Ministries – Provides both biblical and secular support; varied resources for parents of struggling teens and young adults in crisis in order to give them HOPE and a FUTURE. Founded by parents who understand and have been in our shoes.
The Hope Line – Dawson McAllister network. Helping people navigate difficult life issues; relational, emotional, physical or spiritual through one-on-one chat all over the world, blogs and online content. Their mission is to seek, reach, rescue, and restore those in need of hope.
Focus on the Family Help Center – They offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They also offer referrals for licensed Christian counselors in your area. Call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time).
Al-Anon – Local (and online) support groups and resources for loved ones with an alcohol problem, applicable for any issue you have no control over.
Cathy Taughinbaugh – Cathy helps parents find resources that you can use at home to help your child move towards recovery while maintaining a close relationship. Her mission is to give you the clarity, courage, and tools you need to stop all the chaos and start helping your child find recovery.
Celebrate Recovery – support for individuals and their loved ones who struggle with hurts, habits, and hang-ups; founded by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, California. Hosted by local churches with locations nationwide. No online meetings, face-to-face only. Gender-specific groups. The Bible is the source of their curriculum.
Lighthouse Network – Free Addiction and Counseling Helpline 877-562-2565 A faith-based organization that offers free, confidential assistance 24 hours per day by caring staff that are well-trained to help the caller locate the most appropriate care for their personal situation and ways to pay for it. Guidance to find the right treatment program: addictions, eating disorders, depression/stress/emotions, or relationships.
Nar-Anon – Local (and online) support groups and resources for individuals whose loved ones struggle with a drug problem; applicable for any issue you have no control over.
Thrive! Thrive Family Support seeks to bring hope and restoration to the families of loved ones struggling with substance abuse or other destructive behaviors by providing resources, support, education, advocacy and healing connections with compassion, understanding and love. They provide information, assistance, and a broad array of resources to families. Whether your loved one is living at home or in the community, they are there to support your entire family. CALL NOW: (844) 349-2911
Confessions of an Adoptive Parent – Mike and Kristen Berry help weary adoptive and foster parents find the support and validation they need to regain hope and finally stop feeling alone.
Fresh Hope – A Christian association of peer-to-peer lead support groups across the United States for those who have a mental health diagnosis and for their loved ones. They offer a curriculum to help others start support groups offering real hope and real help. Endorsed by Rick Warren and Saddleback Church.
LEAP Institute – A strategy developed by Dr. Xavier Amador, author of I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help (see our book list); helping care-givers and professionals become partners with the severely mentally ill so that they will agree to accept treatment.
NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness; help and resources for families and individuals affected by mental illness
Hopeful Mom – If you are the mom or dad, guardian, or grandparent of a child who’s been exposed to pornography, and are in need of support and encouragement, this is the site for you. This is a safe place to have difficult conversations about a difficult topic. The site has resources and a blog. The founder’s hope is that her site helps you realize you are not alone.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Information and support on this issue.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-274-TALK (8255) Also in Spanish. Call 24/7 including holidays. This is for the individual who is considering ending their life as well as for concerned family and friends. Their website includes helpful information (i.e. prevention) and resources, including for veterans, young adults, and those affected by bullying.
QPR Institute – Three Steps to Suicide Prevention
Lead Them Home – Guiding Families of LGBT+ Loved Ones provides practical insights on how to honor God and radically love LGBT+ people in your life. Their interactive guide provides you with essential understanding and practical tips.
Christopher Yuan – Dr. Christopher Yuan has taught the Bible at Moody Bible Institute for twelve years and his speaking ministry on faith and sexuality has reached five continents. He speaks at conferences, on college campuses, and in churches. He has co-authored with his mother their memoir, Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son’s Journey to God, A Broken Mother’s Search for Hope (100,000 copies sold and now in seven languages).
Fern Weis – Fern is a coach for parents of teens and a former middle school teacher. She’s been through difficult experiences with her children. Offers a free phone consult. “You don’t have to be in crisis to do things differently. In fact, I want to help you avoid the crisis. My goal is for you to be a strong, confident parent who launches independent, resilient young adults into the world.” email@example.com 201-747-9642
License to Parent – A weekly 30 minute podcast with Trace Embry that teaches timeless biblical principles while providing real answers to parenting ; a ministry of Shepherd’s Hill Academy: transforming lives of teens in crisis. A year-long therapeutic, residential, boarding school for troubled teens age 12 – 17 located in Martin, Georgia.
The Envoy Group – Assist and educate families struggling with at risk teens to locate Residential and Therapeutic Boarding Schools that best meet their needs. Founded by a mom who understands.
Becoming educated and informed helped us cope. We didn’t feel as isolated and alone. We discovered there was a lot of help available. I hope this list will help you achieve each of these. You Are Not Alone!
**What resources have you found that helped you? Please share!!