"Sylvia Frumkin" was a pseudonym given to a 32-year-old woman with
chronic mental illness described by Susan Sheehan in her books Is There No
Place on Earth for Me? This paper presents the case of "Gloria Morrison," a
patient similar to Ms. Frumkin, who is also a mother. Issues raised by the
case in three areas are discussed. Issues for the service delivery system
include developing better assessment, prediction, and reduction of the risk
that a parent's mental illness may pose to a child's safety and well-being;
targeting supportive and educational interventions to relatives and foster
parents caring for children of severely mentally ill patients; and
tailoring programs and services to the needs of such patients and their
children. Clinical treatment issues include offering treatment options
through agencies other than the department of social services; developing
protocols for the care of severely mentally ill pregnant and postpartum
women; focusing on issues of loss; and providing parenting skills training.
Issues in the area of family support include increasing providers'
awareness of family burden and alleviating conflicts between the family and