From a child’s perspective, parents have a seemingly endless supply of strength. In reality, parents need support too, and this is especially true for parents of children with medical conditions that are severe or require sustained care.
At Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford parent mentors care for these caregivers by providing emotional and practical support for parents of children newly diagnosed with serious medical conditions.
The Parent Mentor Program is the first of its kind in the U.S. and includes 15 trained parent mentors, some who are fluent in Spanish. Parent mentor Teresa Jurado, whose 26-year-old son has cerebral palsy, explains the importance of the program in this news story:
"When I approach families, I tell them I’m a parent and that they can talk to me…you see their whole face change. It seems like they relax and let down their guard. They don’t have to pretend they have it all together."
“I don’t have words to explain just how much they have helped me,” said Angelica Marin, a mother of three from Lathrop, California. “You feel so lost and are afraid of everything. I learned that I’m not alone.”
Previously: Mindfulness training may ease depression and improve sleep for both caregivers and patients, Parent details practical ways to get care and support for your child's rare disease and Exploring the psychological trauma facing some caregivers
Illustration by Giselle Potter