Mother's Day doesn't measure up for some moms

The Mother's Day images we see always show the perfect celebration. Handsome husbands present their expectant wives with a stunning piece of jewelry. Gorgeous young children bring breakfast in bed to their beautiful mom (who looks like she's been up for an hour doing her hair and makeup). Multi-generational families enjoy fabulous brunch spreads in amazing outdoor gardens.

We all know that's not the reality many women will experience on Sunday.

Some will face their Mother's Day grieving the death of a child. Some will spend their first Mother's Day without their own mom. Other moms will be consumed with their efforts to help their children fight off disease or addiction. Another group of moms will mark the day as one half of a couple that has been fragmented by death, divorce or estrangement. So many other women will be trying desperately to start a family on a day that only serves to remind them that they have no children.

And then there are all the moms who will suffer in silence.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which has been observed since 1949 with the goal of addressing the challenges faced by those living with mental health conditions. They might be struggling with a variety of problems, from mild anxiety or depression to serious cases of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

Estimates from the National Institute of Mental Health indicate that more than one in five adults in this country live with a mental illness. In 2021, there were an estimated 57.8 million adults with a mental illness. The prevalence was higher among women (27.2 percent) than men (18.1 percent).

Unfortunately, only about half of those people receive treatment.

Part of the reason so many don't get help might be because they don't know where to turn.

One place to start is the mental health resource guide prepared by Community Memorial Foundation and available on its website at The guide lists community and hospital-based mental and behavioral health services throughout the foundation's service area, which includes Hinsdale.

The foundation also supports The Living Room in La Grange, a drop-in center designed to be an alternative to the hospital emergency room. Its goals are to decrease unnecessary hospitalizations, break the cycle of isolation and develop a peer-based support network. The Living Room, which also has a location in Broadview, is managed by NAMI Metro Suburban in partnership with Pillars Community Health and Healthcare Alternative Systems. It's open 365 days a year and provides services free of charge. (For moms trying to help teens and tweens with their mental health issues, The Loft in Brookfield offers a similar model for a younger age group.)

Another reason people might shy away from seeking support is they fear the reaction of family, friends and neighbors if they reveal they are struggling with mental health.

Imagine if all the moms (and all those they love and who love them) who are struggling with any form of mental illness were able to get the help they need from professionals and the support they need from family members.

That is my wish this Mother's Day.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean