I was recently interviewed by a major media outlet regarding a serious custody issue that a woman was struggling over with with her ex-husband. As the mother of five minor children I am sure that she has her hands more than full already and that this conflict only makes taking care of her family – and herself – ten times harder.

When I heard about all the legal steps she’s taken to try and improve her situation through the courts and government agencies, I had to express to her how disheartening it is that she has not been able to make more progress. But as a psychiatrist, I had to also strongly encourage her to seek professional assistance to safeguard the emotional well-being of her and her children. This will be fundamental to their health, not to mention their quality of life, in the years ahead.

I therefore recommend that she schedule an appointment with their doctor to make sure they get the support they need, including from a mental health professional. In addition, I referred her to her local Child Welfare Medical and Behavioral Health unit at her state’s Department of Health & Human Services. They have a comprehensive list of support services across the state that might be of great assistance to her and her family. I also wished her the best of luck as she continues to advocate for herself and your children.

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