Mindful Alternative is a Seattle support group for people who have adult children with profound and disabling mental health problems. Daily they navigate the world with thinking colored by such filters as schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and schizo-affective disorder. We strive to identify, share and advocate for the plethora of services necessary to meet the needs of our loved ones. These include supportive housing, social, recreational and sports activities, active case management, psychiatric and counseling care, effective treatment options, vocational and educational options and peer-to-peer support groups.
Mental illness is still a healthcare stepchild with inadequate coverage and treatment available both for those with public and private insurance. One of the main deterrents to adequate treatment is the fact that so many with severe mental illness need decades of intensive treatment, which is costly. But the cost to society of untreated mental illness is far greater and often results in the ongoing need for crisis management and intervention, lost productivity and death.
Mindful Alternative’s mission is to gather family members who share our goals and to work together to help meet them. The problem of mental illness in Seattle is huge. Anyone who walks around our inner-city encounters people, many of whom are disconnected from their families, who need help. The services available to them are minimal and unable to come close to meeting their needs. Our jails are full of people with mental illness. Many, after years of living on the streets, have co-occurring issues which complicate treatment and their ability to move into recovery. These are all problems that desperately need better solutions.
While mindful of the needs of everyone in Seattle with mental illness and thankful that many of us are active in advocating for this under-served group as a whole, Mindful Alternative was formed to work specifically on behalf of those who are already active in their own recovery.