Pediatric bipolar resources for church staff, volunteers and families

shutterstock_381122809This is the sixth and final installment of our series, Pediatric Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Children’s and Youth Pastors and Volunteers

To review what we’ve covered this past week, we’ve discussed the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder in children and teens and explained some of the confusion about the diagnostic criteria, explored how the lives of kids and families are impacted by the condition, considered the obstacles pediatric bipolar disorder presents to church attendance and spiritual development and suggested strategies for churches seeking to minister to kids, teens and families touched by the illness.

Pastors and church staff are often the first point of contact for families of children in crisis. Not infrequently, those engaged in full-time ministry struggle with biological and adopted children suffering the effects of bipolar disorder and other hidden disabilities. Access to clear, non-biased information based on the best possible research is critical for parents who need to decide on their child’s treatment, as well as ministry professionals seeking to lend support.

Here are four resources I’d recommend highly to anyone looking to learn more about bipolar disorder in children and teens:

1. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP): AACAP has developed resource centers including links, articles, rating scales, video, and answers to frequently asked questions from parents on common emotional and behavioral disorders. The resource center for Bipolar Disorder may be accessed here.

2. Parents’ Medication Guide for Bipolar Disorder in Children & Adolescents: These guides were jointly developed by AACAP and the American Psychiatric Association. They are designed to help patients, families, and physicians make informed decisions about obtaining and administering the most appropriate care for a child with ADHD or depression. The guide for bipolar disorder was published this week and is available here.

3. The Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF): The Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation improves the lives of families raising children and teens living with bipolar disorder and related conditions. Many of the top researchers in the field serve as medical advisors to CABF, and the site features resources for parents, clinicians and educators.

4. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): NIMH is the Federal agency charged with transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illness through research. NIMH provides many excellent resources to the public on topics of interest in children’s mental health, and has published a free booklet, Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens: A Parent’s Guide.

Updated February 24, 2016


600817_10200479396001791_905419060_nConfused about all the changes in diagnostic terminology for kids with mental heath disorders? Key Ministry has a resource page summarizing our recent blog series examining the impact of the DSM-5 on kidsClick this link for summary articles describing the changes in diagnostic criteria for conditions common among children and teens, along with links to other helpful resources!

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
This entry was posted in Bipolar Disorder, Hidden Disabilities, Key Ministry, Mental Health, Parents, Resources and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pediatric bipolar resources for church staff, volunteers and families

  1. This has been a great series, Steve. Thank you!


  2. trying to follow you on twitter but cant find your name


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