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  • Writer's pictureNeil Parekh

Ep. 7 Kate Easton | Shining Light on Shadows: Parenting a Child with Mental Health Challenges

Updated: May 22

Please join me and my co-host, Dawn Helmrich, for the seventh episode of “Shining Light on Shadows: A Candid Conversation About Mental Health.” May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Our guest will be Kate Easton.

Our conversation will focus on the challenges of parenting a child with mental health challenges. Kate’s son suffers from bipolar disorder. Dawn’s son suffers from severe social anxiety. Both were able to get the help they needed, but it was a struggle.

We’ll be live Thursday, May 9 at 7pm ET / 6pm CT. If you can’t watch the show live, you can watch the recording at your convenience on this website or the links below.


You can watch the recording or

or watch and comment on the recording on social media:


As Kate wrote in her blog post for this episode, “Amidst the chaos and the pain, there was a glimmer of clarity – my son was not himself, he was a prisoner of his own mind, controlled by forces beyond his control.” In her post, she describes rock bottom as the day her son violently attacked her, “On that day my body bore the brunt of his rage. I was struck, thrown to the ground, kicked, and subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse that cut deeper than any physical wound ever could. In that moment, the lines between mother and son blurred, replaced by a stark reality I couldn't comprehend…The pain of the physical injuries was eclipsed by the agony of betrayal, the disbelief that someone I loved with all my heart could inflict such harm upon me.”

As Dawn wrote in her blog post, “One day, my son told me, the world was not set up for kids like him. Kids that have social anxiety.” She continued, “He said that classrooms and sports and organized clubs are for kids that don’t have full-on panic attacks when they are around other people.”

Dawn and I launched this twice a month show (the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month) in order to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be joined by friends and colleagues who are working through or have worked through their own challenges, practitioners who can speak to some of the issues faced by their clients and advocates who can talk about a range of different issues.

The show is produced by Digimentors on a pro bono basis.


Resources / Relevant Links

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline 800-950-6264 Or text "HelpLine" to 6264;

Mental Health America Call or text 988 or chat; Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673);


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