A Personal Letter from Co-Founder Liz Reitman
Transforming my Pain into Connection: The Birth of Other Parents Like Me (OPLM)
Some of our greatest creative ideas stem from personal experience. And for me that is no different.
As an entrepreneur since the age of 24, I learned early on that the best way forward is through. Having confidence in my capabilities and saying yes to things I didn’t yet know how to do all while navigating the unknown with optimism and determination are skills I still tap into today.
Being a parent, at least in my experience, is quite similar! Learning on the fly was the name of the game. I’ve learned a hell of a lot from motherhood, but I’ve learned a great deal more from my kids. They have completely changed me, brought me on journeys I didn’t anticipate, and transformed my outlook on life entirely.
With growth comes change. And with change comes some growing pains! And for some of us, these times can take serious turns. Although my family’s experience is our own, some of the challenges we’ve faced are familiar to many.
My family and I have become very intimate with substance use and mental health. I saw first-hand my child struggle with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and substance use disorder. Our family went through pain and challenges I could never have imagined. We have sought out traditional forms of treatment including therapy, support groups, books, and more; and while these resources have been instrumental to where we are today, I felt that there was something missing. For me, that missing link was the parent-to-parent perspective. An outlet to connect with other parents like me.
Attending support groups proved challenging and when COVID took a turn, it was even harder to connect with other parents like me. Despite the challenges, I reconnected with Casie Fariello, another parent like me. We met through a therapeutic boarding school where we each had enrolled our sons. We felt an immediate connection and the relief that comes with knowing we weren’t alone. We bonded over similar stories and our mutual feeling that sharing our stories is a crucial component on the journey to healing ourselves and our families.
As painful as our journeys are, they gave birth to a bold idea: What if we could use our experiences to help other parents like us?
This is why Casie and I founded Other Parents Like Me (OPLM), an empowered online community of parents supporting parents with help, hope, and healing.
OPLM offers a flexible and cohesive environment for parents to learn, heal, and find the community they need to support their children. Our digital community provides a support network for parents supporting parents of children struggling with mental health — including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance use, behavior disorders, and more — and opportunities to learn from mental health professionals, industry leaders, and guest speakers.
- Daily, parent-led Zoom meetings
- Speakers and special online events
- A resource hub with articles, books, podcasts, and more
- A support directory of recovery and wellness professionals
And much more to come. Our goal is to nurture a community that supplies the support, insights, and connections you need to guide you and your family through times of crisis.
We’ve piloted our online parent-led meetings for one year and the connections, hope, and healing we’ve seen are deeply inspiring. We’ve only just shared the launch of Other Parents Like Me (OPLM), though we’ve been working behind the scenes for months to deliver what you see today. We’re hard at work building out this community and hope our efforts provide solace and hope to parents with similar experiences to our own.
I know the value of parent-to-parent support — and I know the transformation that is possible when parents and families find the help and hope they need. If this resonates with you or you know someone who could benefit from joining this community, try our free 7 day trial: https://bit.ly/3fAI8sH