The Balanced Mind Foundation
Highly recommended: One of the best sites for bipolar children and teens and their families. They have a library and a newsletter, educational resources, information on treatment and medications, and a nationwide directory of support groups and treatment providers plus more.
Anxiety Free Children
Information and help for parents of children with anxiety and fear, including a parent forum.
Child Anxiety Network
Provides thorough, user-friendly information and a free email newsletter. There are listings for providers, recommended books, “coping cards,” and articles with practical parenting tips.
General Children’s Mental Health
Drugwatch.com offers detailed information about drugs (prescription and over-the-counter) that are currently on the market or previously available, including all psychiatric medications. Each description includes uses, normal dosages, side-effects, drug interactions, and updated information on drug recalls. I especially like the news updates on drug trials.
The Total Transformation Program
This great “how to” program was created by a therapist who specializes in working with defiant children. It is a series of audio lessons on how to manage when specific behaviors come up, such as what to say and how to react in a given situation. The website includes a newsletter, parent-written articles, articles by mental health specialists, and a link to a parent blog.
Revolution Health’s Medicine Chest
Highly recommended: An independent, unbiased site where you can rate the effectiveness of treatments for specific health problems. The site has free email newsletters for different disorders that include information for both children and adults. Find out which treatments have been rated as the most effective for specific mental health conditions.
Offers research on multiple childhood psychiatric disorders and has a free email newsletter for parents. The site is operated by a children’s psychiatric research clinic and there’s information on treatment methods, medications, and brain function. It will be especially helpful for those interested in the science behind their child’s condition.
This site is informative and broken down into specific sections such as “At Risk Youth Programs,” “Self Abuse in Teenagers,” and “Teens and the Juvenile Justice System.” Parents are able to add their own comments and articles to share with other parents. There are literally hundreds of topics to choose from.
CHADD •• En Espagñol
Children and Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is an excellent site for exploring a wealth of ADHD knowledge. Family membership is $45, which includes Attention Magazine, news, advocacy information, stories about celebrities with ADHD, and much more. The site has links to help you locate a support group.
Autism Society of America •• En Espagñol
Information for everyone — family members and professionals, children and adults — on the autism spectrum. One must register to use the site, but once registered you gain access to free downloads and other services. ASA has chapters across the U.S. and a referral network.
Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Dedicated to providing information and advice to families of children with more advanced autism, high-functioning autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which describes children and adolescents within the autism spectrum who do not experience severe intellectual impairments. The site offers links to an email newsletter, books, support groups, conferences, and direct links to psychiatric research programs in autism and Asperger’s at Cambridge University in England and Stanford University in California.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
For parents with a child with OCD symptoms, this site covers a broad range of topics: treatment, medications, therapists, books, FAQs, etc., with links for more information.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Support
This link connects to a community of patients, family members and friends dedicated to dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder together.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
A very comprehensive site on all aspects of borderline personality disorder which includes a section for families. In addition to useful information on BPD, including videos and audio classes, are links to research and recommended books, conferences, and resources for professionals. Finally, we have intensive efforts to understand and treat this under-supported condition.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance •• En Espagñol
An excellent, easy-to-use site for both children and adults. It offers information on symptoms and medications, directories to providers, clinical trials and research, as well as chat groups and online forums.
Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Disorders
A very family-friendly and supportive site with a lot of information that is easy to find: articles, books, forums, links. Provides information on most other childhood psychiatric disorders, too, not just conduct disorders.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
An easy-to-use site that provides clear, concise information about PTSD in adults and children for the purpose of education. It is helpful for parents or guardians of children with PTSD. Offers two free downloadable booklets on PTSD, answers to FAQs, provider listings, and information about how to work with providers.
Get Involved: Advocacy and Support for Families
National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
Highly recommended: A national parent-run organization for the support of families with children with mental disorders, and for advocacy for increased and improved children’s mental health treatment. The Federation of Families is active in so many valuable programs that it’s hard to list them all, but they include: school-based peer-to-peer programs for youth, youth-run advocacy, research, family support, education of schools and providers (e.g. American Association of Pediatricians) on the special needs of our children, and education of law enforcement and corrections institutions on the proper treatment of children with mental disorders.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
The oldest and largest mental health advocacy organization for the mentally ill of all ages and their families. NAMI and it’s chapters across the United States are largely responsible for major state and federal legislation on behalf of the mentally ill, including: insurance parity, humane treatment in psychiatric hospitals, and funding for research. They also have a Stigma Busters Campaign, numerous support groups, and classes for families and their loved ones in each state.