Where Can Troubled Parents Turn for Help?

by | Aug 3, 2020 | Helpful Resources

photo cred. discovery church

Where can troubled parents turn for help when their teen or adult children go off the rails? When they develop an addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or something else? When they’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness or brain disorder? When they can’t stop hurting themselves? When they’re incarcerated? When any number of things go wrong and you’re left with a broken heart and devastated family?

The ripple effect to the family unit is wide. The impact on a parent’s life is far-reaching. Broken and worn, parents like us have no idea where to turn for assistance, especially in the beginning. My husband and I were confused and disoriented. Numb and grief-stricken, our mental reserves were used for daily survival. We still had a son in college and a teen at home who needed us; a marriage to protect, and our health to salvage. But when we were in the midst of the trauma and chaos, resources were extra difficult to find. Who should we ask? We didn’t even want to tell anyone what was happening.

Dear weary parent, we know. We’ve walked may miles in your shoes. We understand the dilemma. That’s why we developed our Hope for Hurting Parent’s website to included many wonderful resources–ones we wished we had known about.

Finding a Therapist

photo cred. Christina-wocintechnicalchat on unsplash

The first type of help we knew we needed was a good counselor, one for our daughter and one for us. But who do you go to? How do you find the right one…especially one with a good reputation?

I have three suggestions that took me a long time to discover. I’m happy to pass them on to you:

  1. Go to www,psychologytoday.com and search for a therapist in your area. Want a Christian counselor who shares your worldview? Narrow the search by selecting “Christian” in the “Faith” category. All the counselors we know list themselves here.
  2. Call the 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).
  3. Call New Life Ministries — They offer help and hope to people in life’s hardest places. Click on the “counselors” tab and “find a counselor now”. Their website is also full of other wonderful resources.

Both Focus on the Family and New Life are connected to a large network of Christian counselors across the nation who are eager to help you find healing and wholeness.

My Favorite Resources

Adoption Issues:

Confessions of An Adoptive Parent – Mike & Kristin Berry do their best to offer hope for families in the trenches. They’re here to help weary adoptive and foster parents find the support and validation they need to regain hope and finally stop feeling alone. Great website, books, podcasts and more.


photo cred. Jonathan Gonzalez on unsplash

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.

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.

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. Gender specific groups. The Bible is the source of their curriculum.

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

Mental Illness:

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.

NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness; help and resources for families and individuals affected by mental illness; they offer an excellent, free 12 week educational course and support groups.

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.

QPR Institute – Three Steps to Suicide Prevention

Teen Issues:

Anchor of Promise — a support blog for parents of teens and young adults in crisis

HeartlightParenting Today’s Teens with Mark Gregston — radio podcast, events and boarding school.

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.

Encouragement for Your Heart

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.

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.

The Faith to Flourish – Dawn Ward started a ministry for women whose loved ones struggle with  addiction.

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. They also provide materials to help moms start groups.

Lighthouse Network – Addiction and Mental Health 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. They provide guidance to find the right treatment program: addictions, eating disorders, depression/stress/emotions, or relationships.

Prayer for Prodigals – A website developed by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) for hope, encouragement, and community as you pray for your loved ones. Confidential and password protected. Post prayer requests for your child and yourself. Receive prayers back from members of the community. 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. Annual Worldwide Day of Prayer June 2nd.

I hope you will find a resource here that you needed.

I’d love to hear what resources you’ve found that we can pass on! Where have you found help??