Children’s Mental Health Community Program Scheduled

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Many children, and especially adolescents, experience mood swings as a normal part of growing up. But when these feelings persist and begin to interfere with a child’s ability to function in daily life, bipolar disorder could be the cause Mental Health America of Franklin County (MHAFC) is presenting A Difficult Balacing Act: Helping Children and Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder on Monday, October 17. This program is designed for the parents and caregivers of children affected by bipolar disorder. Co-panelists Dr. Robert A. Kowatch and Dr. Mary A. Fristad will present relevant, current information on bipolar disorder in young people. Dr. Kowatch is Professor of Psychiatry in the Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Mary A. Fristad serves as Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University. Dr. Fristad is launching a new study at The OSU Medical Center’s Childhood Mood Lab called OATS-Bipolar. This cutting-edge study investigates the effects of Omega-3 dietary supplements and therapy for treatment of bipolar disorder in children ages 8-12. Alternative therapies, including those that are not medicinally based, are becoming more attractive as parents struggle to find answers to help with their children’s care.

“There is a stigma associated with mental illness that tends to make bipolar disorder one of society’s ignored conditions,” said Laura Moskow Sigal, Executive Director of MHAFC. “Feelings of isolation are common in parents when their children suffer from bipolar disorder. This community program allows parents to get facts and current information regarding bipolar disorder in young people in an environment without the fear of judgment.”

A Difficult Balacing Act: Helping Children and Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder will be held at Mount Carmel East in the Siegel Center beginning at 7:00 pm. The two-hour program is offered to community members at a cost of $5.00 per person. Full details and online registration are available at


Mental Health America of Franklin County is a private, not-for-profit organization, established in 1956. We help people navigate the mental health system. We are dedicated to promoting mental health in Franklin County through advocacy, education, and support services. Our programs include: information and referral to community mental health and alcohol/drug services; free support groups for people with mental illness and their families; an Ombudsman program that assists clients in navigating the mental health and alcohol/drug system; mental health screenings in English and Spanish; Pro Bono Counseling Program where underinsured and uninsured individuals can receive free counseling; community and professional mental health education including Get Connected; and a quarterly newsletter featuring legislative updates and new happenings at MHAFC. We receive funding from the Franklin County ADAMH Board and United Way of Central Ohio. To become a member or find out more information, please visit us online at


Contact information

Laura Moskow Sigal, Executive Director
614-221-1441 (o)
614-975-9612 (c)

Greg Belhorn, Marketing/Development Director
614-221-1441 (o)
614-578-5579 (c)