Families as Allies is delighted to be the longstanding State chapter of the National Federation of Families. We appreciate our partnership with the Federation and are delighted to share this news from the Federation with you.
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health was founded in 1989 by a group of parents and professionals who recognized the struggle of parents raising children with mental health challenges across the country and the need for an organization to represent their collective voice. Thirty-two years later, our network of chapters and partners has grown into a strong nationwide fabric of organizations that support and serve families.
As the field has evolved, we now recognize that the challenges families and caregivers face are not limited to mental health or childhood. These families often find themselves navigating the myriad of complex child, adult and family-serving systems and these challenges and the need for support often do not end when their child(ren) turns 18.
The evolution of the work of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the work of our chapters clearly demonstrates that we have expanded far beyond “children” and “mental health” to meet the needs of families today. In order to better reflect our work and the services and supports provided by our chapters and partners, we are excited to announce that our name is changing to National Federation of Families.
Our new name will be accompanied by a new tagline: “Bringing Lived Experience to Family Support.” Our mission, vision and values will remain grounded in promoting the importance of lived experience and family voice. But this will no longer be limited to childhood, as our children are our children for their whole lives. It will also no longer be limited to mental health, as protecting the health of families must encompass a broader range of systems, supports and services.
Don’t worry! Our previous tagline, “Children’s Mental Health Matters,” and the symbolic green awareness ribbon will still be an integral part of our annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness campaign. However, in this new era, it is incumbent upon us to fully represent the experiences and challenges faced by families as we honor the intent of our founders.