Upcoming Meetings

Evening "Zoom Room" Meeting for Parents of Teens & Young Adults

Support group meeting for parents of young adults (18+), facilitated by Certified Parent Coach, Sarah MacKay Lynch. Third Tuesday of the month.

Next Zoom Meetings:  

          July 19 at 7:00 pm

          August 16 at 7:00 pm     

          September 20 at 7:00 pm

          October 18 at 7:00 pm

          November 15 at 7:00 pm

          December 20 at 7:00 pm                 


For More Information,

Please Contact: Lisa@familysanity.org.

Willows in the Wind On-line Parent Support Groups

Three Meetings Monthly.

For information and registration for upcoming meetings, please go to:





SF Parent Support Virtual Support Group

- More info on groups at namisf.org.

- To sign up for a support group, go to: https://www.namisf.org/familysupport

- For a link to meetings, as well as to join their online parent community forum, please contact: lisaeltinge@aol.com.

Please Donate Today

Family Sanity is almost 9 years old.  We have helped hundreds of families who have teens and young adults coping with mental illness.  The non-profit organization is run by a very small staff of parent volunteers.  We'd love to be able to expand our services, but our resources are limited.  

As you may already know, our fundraising efforts at this point have mainly come from the sales of artwork created by Lisa Scimens, our founder (www.lisascimens.com). We are very grateful to a few very generous folks who have provided additional funding and we'd like to increase those funding sources.

If you value the work Family Sanity does, please make a donation by clicking the button above in the right hand corner or by sending a check to:

Family Sanity

855 Longridge Road

Oakland, CA 94610


Our tax ID is: 82-3381906

              From Our Founder

Sleep Problems and Teens/Young Adults


Sleep problems are extremely common in young people, especially those with mental health issues. Some are related to adolescence; some to medication; and while many are transitory, some are long-term, unfortunately.


My daughter’s sleep problems have been going on for more than a decade, I’m sad to say. They began in middle school, around the time of menarche, which was also when we were first trying to get her on the right medications for her ADD, depression and anxiety. Read More [Hyperlink to full article posted on Family Sanity website]


I have long believed that my daughter has a circadian rhythm problem. The fact that the only medication that seemed to help was Provigil, which was designed for shift workers, seems to confirm my point. After a few years, we were no longer able to get that medication. (At this point, I can’t remember why.)


In her late teens, my daughter tried a few other medications that would work for a while, and then after a time, stop being effective. Trazadone was one of them.


A few years ago,my daughter’s psychiatrist recommended she do a sleep study. This is something I hadn’t thought of since I only knew older people doing so, but her internist also recommended it, and it was completely covered by insurance.  After testing, we found out she has sleep apnea. She was given a customized apnea night guard (as opposed to a C-Pak machine which I doubted she’d used). After a follow-up sleep test at a sleep clinic, we found that her apnea had improved greatly.


However, the sleep problems persist. They are mainly because of her poor “sleep hygiene”.  She plays video games until at least 2am most nights. She doesn’t get out of bed until 2pm on many days. She is overweight and gets no exercise. These are all behaviors we have been trying to help her improve since the sleep issues began.  But she isn't ready to take advice from her doctors or her parents;  perhaps it's because of the depression.


Lisa Scimens

Family Sanity Founder


Family Sanity logo.jpg

Stay Connected with Online Support Meetings

Parents of teens and young adults who are dealing with mental health issues may be having a more difficult time than others during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Family Sanity, along with Willows in the Wind and SF NAMI Parent Support, have joined together to offer six monthly parent support meetings, live online via zoom.com

The groups originate in the Bay Area, but thanks to this online technology we have parents coming from all over the U.S. The  groups are conducted by the organizations’ leaders or trained facilitators, as well as our certified parent coach, Sarah MacKay Lynch. 

Information about how to join the groups here

Questions?  Feel free to email Lisa@familysanity.org, or call


Article by Lisa Scimens, Family Sanity founder and director:


Sending Your Troubled Child Away: 

It’s Never Easy, 

But It May Be the Right Thing

This week I read a NYT book review of TROUBLED: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs by  Kenneth R. Rosen. A journalist who once himself attended a program, he discusses in the book four people who had negative and sometimes abusive experiences at three different programs, all of which are now closed.


As a parent of a young adult who attended two out-of-state programs to help her with her depression and anxiety, and as the subsequent founder of Family Sanity, I feel I need to speak out and say there are many good programs out there that do change lives.  

It is our job as parents to seriously vet them ourselves and not leave the final decisions up to others whenever possible.  Here, I offer some tips to make that decision wisely.


Resources for Families Coping with Anxiety During Covid 

Below you can access some excellent internet resources for parents and teenagers and young adults to cope with the added anxiety of living during this pandemic.




Click Here to View More Resources

Heart & Hands