New from Seeds of Hope Books

Finding My Way and I’m Not Alone are the first of their kind focusing on teenagers living with a parent who has a mental illness or who has experienced trauma. These books provide more than just the facts by encouraging readers to reflect on their experiences through interactive writing exercises.

The clinical and educational expertise of the mother/daughter author team brings forward well-grounded, accessible books that support, educate, and empower the family members whose needs are so often overlooked.

These unique, timely books are invaluable resources for all professionals working with teens and families because:

1. Mental illness and trauma are common…and many children’s lives are touched:

  • Serious mental illness affects 1 in 4 American families.
  • Approximately 1 in 8 American families has a parent dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many more families struggle with other reactions to trauma.
  • Over half of all people with a mental illness or PTSD have children.

2. When a family member has a mental illness or has experienced trauma, everyone in the family is affected:

  • Everyday life in these families can be confusing and frightening. Nothing feels the same as it was before the trauma or onset of the illness. Many youth live every day with uncertainty, embarrassment, anger, shame, sadness, guilt, and fear. The children ask:
    • What is this all about?
      • Why is it happening to me?
        • How do I survive amid this confusion?
          • What do I tell my friends?
            • How can I make my parent better?
  • Youth growing up with parents dealing with emotional problems are at greater risk of having behavioral or emotional problems themselves. Our books can serve as prevention and early intervention for these at-risk youth.

3. Seeds of Hope Books™ provides much-needed hope for families:

  • These youth and their families need HOPE! Our books strive to reassure the teenager and to stimulate helpful discussions. As the reader uses these books, he/she learns that:
    • I am not alone.
      • My parent can get better.
        • Helpful treatments are available for my parent and my family.
          • I can help my parent in specific ways.
            • I have people who want to support me.
              • I can make it through the tough times.

Over 1.8 million children have a parent serving in the United States military, and 25% of them are teenagers. Being a military kid has its own unique set of joys and challenges, such as pride in parental service, frequent geographic moves, and long and repeated separations from their deployed parents. During this time of war in the Middle East, military families are facing even greater challenges with the high operational tempo, repeated deployments to dangerous war zones, and considerable rates of emotional and reintegration difficulties among military personnel upon homecoming. Not surprisingly, all family members are being affected.

Importantly, most military youth are resilient and do not develop long-term emotional difficulties. Bolstered by their friends, the military community, compassionate adults, and a caring circle of supporters, many children navigate the challenges surrounding parental deployment effectively.

However, a growing research base is documenting that today’s military youth are at higher risk for experiencing abuse and neglect (usually by their at-home caregiver). Further, many military kids—from preschoolers to high school students—are experiencing:

  • Worry about their deployed parent
  • Difficulty getting to know their parent again upon homecoming
  • Insomnia and other sleep problems
  • Academic difficulties
  • Physiological differences from civilian youth (e.g., higher blood pressure)
  • Emotional problems (e.g., anxiety, sadness, attention difficulties, changes in eating patterns)

Notably, military youth are seeking mental health treatment (both outpatient care and psychiatric hospitalizations) at considerably higher rates than at the start of the war in Iraq.

Compelled by the stories we hear, the military youth/families we are privileged to meet, and the emerging research documenting teens’ struggles, we wanted to create a helpful resource specifically for military youth. My Story is a source of support and education for all military teens and pre-teens that honors their unique joys and sacrifices, addresses their fears and hopes, and explores how parental deployment affects their lives.

In Our Books
  • Comfort in knowing that they are not alone
  • Facts presented in clear, concise language
  • Opportunities for reflection and journaling
  • Tips on healthy coping skills
  • Help in identifying supportive people and in dealing with friends
  • Resources for further learning
  • Support, encouragement, and hope

Who Will Benefit from Seeds of Hope Books™?

Our books are invaluable for teens, parents, and relatives dealing with emotional problems in the family, as well as those professionals and organizations supporting them, including:

  • Mental health professionals
  • School counselors
  • Teachers
  • School liaison officers
  • Clergy and youth group leaders
  • Health care providers
  • Support group and Family Readiness Group facilitators
  • American Red Cross personnel
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) chapters
  • Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) chapters
  • 12-step groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, Alateen)

Despite the trials often involved in dealing with deployment, mental illness, or trauma, going through difficulties can bring families closer. The family unit can actually become stronger by facing the challenges together. Both parents and children may discover strengths, resilience, and courage in themselves and in each other that never would have surfaced otherwise. Families can grow by communicating openly, adjusting to a new normal, and supporting one another – so that they can navigate future difficulties more effectively.

Our books can serve as a resource or curriculum for an educational series, support groups, military youth activities, and mental health services, and in the following settings:

  • Mental health clinics
  • Community mental health centers
  • Hospitals
  • Day treatment programs
  • Schools
  • Domestic violence shelters and programs
  • Sexual assault programs
  • Churches / places of worship
  • Crisis centers
  • College or graduate level classes
  • Department of Defense family programs / Family Assistance Centers
  • Camps for military youth
  • Veteran treatment programs
  • Child abuse centers
  • Adolescent psychiatric units / residential treatment facilities
  • Teen homeless shelters
  • Addiction treatment units