A look at Part 2 of the Mental Health Matters series

Kristina Meyer washes dishes as her husband, Michael, comforts and interacts with Kami as she withdraws.

The Observer-Reporter will publish the second installment of the Mental Health Matters series Sunday, June 26, 2016. Here are some of the stories you’ll read.

Bipolar disorder is tough enough, but imagine being 8 years old and dealing with a mental illness you can’t cognitively understand. O-R’s Karen Mansfield spent time with Kami Meyers and her family to learn more about what they deal with.

“It was very exhausting. It would be 2 1/2 hours of rage, physical aggressiveness, and then aggression toward her sister and the dog, and her brother,” said Michael Meyers, Kami’s father.

Scott Martin, superintendent of Bentworth School District, came from a background of teaching students with mental health issues, and wasted no time developing a program to reach students who “are often missed” when he came to Bentworth.

“Every student matters. Sometimes, in education, the focus is too narrow. The focus is just on education. Kids have other things going on at home; they need a place to feel safe.”

O-R’s Natalie Miller will have detail on the program and how it is affecting students in her Sunday story.

Children and adolescents face a number of mental health issues, including depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder. O-R’s Karen Mansfield talked to guidance counselors, therapists and other mental health experts to find out what is being done for children dealing with mental health issues.

“The majority of the time, if you can identify something early on, it becomes a non-issue, as opposed to defining someone’s life,” said Dr. Jeanine Herdman, board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Peters Township.

Read more about Mental Health Matters at http://www.observer-reporter.com/mentalhealth and look for the second installment in print and online Sunday, June 26.

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