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Families Are the Frontline: Preventing, Treating, and Recovering From Substance Use and Mental Disorders


It is well understood that prevention, treatment, and recovery in behavioral health requires a multifaceted approach in which individuals, families, schools, and communities all play a vital role. This show will focus on one of these critical success factors—families. Whenever a family member is experiencing the mental or substance use health problem—parent or child—the response should involve the entire family. A strong family support environment is a proven protective factor in the prevention of mental or substance use disorders just as strong family support is critical in treatment and recovery. How can we break the cycle of addiction in which the child follows the parent into addictive behavior? Many children in foster care are in the foster home because of parental addiction; how can these children be best supported in leading healthy and productive lives? How can we break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and mental health outcomes? How can we educate families to provide the best support for a loved one experiencing a mental disorder? This show will cover a range of family-based approaches and programs that demonstrate the importance of families being on the frontline of behavioral health for all family members.

Ivette Torres, Director for Consumer Affairs, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

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