extended family

Step #1: Know Your Family Mental Health History

Problems with the mind and emotions can be influenced by genetic factors, so it is important to gain an understanding of your family history in this area. (Watch this 35 second video for a more complete explanation.) Here are some suggestions and tools to help you. Use the Basic Steps if you are limited in time and the Extended Steps if you have more time to invest. This will give you a better understanding of how to work with your children.

Basic Steps


  1. Write down any experiences you or your spouse have had
    with anxiety, depression, or other challenges with your mind and emotions.

  2. Think about any problems that you have seen in your parents and write them down.

  3. Ask your parents or other relatives about any problems that your grandparents or great-grandparents had.

  4. Review your list and use it as a guide as you learn more
    about mental health.
NOTE: A useful tool in working through steps #1-3 is through an online Mental Health Family Tree Builder. You will have the opportunity to print your family tree in either chart or tree form.

Go to Step #2: Learn    

Extended Steps


  1. Use the following link to view online mental health evaluations and learn more about possible areas of struggles. Identify areas that you have experienced. Write down what you and your spouse learn.



  2. Encourage your parents to take the same online evaluations
    and write down what they have experienced. If they are not able or willing, take the evaluation on their behalf, answering
    the questions as if you were them.

  3. Ask your parents to take the evaluation on behalf of their parents so you can learn about your grandparents. If possible, do the same for your great-grandparents.

  4. Tabulate your results and make a list of topics you need to study further.

                                                                Go to Step #2: Learn