San Antonio mental health professionals urge parents to seek help when faced with life challenges

After her arrest, Dlanny Chairez told investigators about her mental health issues in length

San Antonio – San Antonio mental health professionals are urging parents facing any kind of challenges to seek help before taking matters in their own hands.

The announcement comes after the arrest of Dlanny Chairez, a mother who has been missing with her infant for several weeks but was arrested for child abandonment or endangerment.

According to an affidavit, Chairez refused to tell investigators about the whereabouts of James Chairez, her 18-month-old son. Additionally, Chairez said she believed she wasn’t ready to be a mother and that she considered giving her son up for adoption so he can be in a better place.

In the court documents, Chairez told investigators at length about her mental health issues.

“She was depressed,” said Mariesol Gomez, her aunt. “She suffered from depression. She was always in a dark place. Anytime we would try talking with her or inviting her over, she would just stay to herself. But she wasn’t the type of person who asked for help and that is why I think she left and cut us all off.”

Martha Livingston, clinical director of San Antonio Counseling and Behavioral Center, said she has seen clients who are parents who are overwhelmed with their situations.

“Being alone and feeling like it is too much can lead to some of the problems that we are seeing or this drastic situation,” Livingston said. “Probably nobody knew she was going through that. Maybe there were signs that we missed.”

Livingston said seeking help is crucial in these kinds of situations when dealing with mental health problems.

“I think parents need to realize that it is ok sometimes to not be ok and not be able to handle everything that is expected of them,” Livingston said. “But they need to get help. As family member s and neighbors, we also have a responsibility when we see them going through stressful situations reach out for help, talk and listen and help them process what they are going through. Sometimes that is all they need to know that everything is going to be okay.”

Miriam Marin, a birth parent counselor with Adoption Angels, agrees.

“This situation is heartbreaking and sad,” Marin said. “This is tough. You never know what people are going through. You can put yourself in their shoes, but they have to be able to feel it is ok to feel that way and ask for that help.”

Marin also educates families on the adoption process which she said can be a hard process for some families.

“They feel guilt,” Marin said. “They feel ashamed and embarrassed and for them to verbalize that to anybody. That is a tough thing to do.”

She said in her experience she has experienced red flags of parents faced with hard challenges in life.

Those signs include:

  • High emotions
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Isolation

Marin said is critical that parents seek any resources before resorting to doing something drastic.

“Whether it is a social worker at their hospital when they deliver or going online looking for resources,” Marin said. “They are out there but it is just not to be so afraid to admit you need that extra help.”

A prayer vigil will be held

Below are links to area mental health resources you can turn to if you have any mental or emotional challenges and need help:

A vigil to pray for James and family will take place tomorrow at 7pm.

Vigil tomorrow at 7627 W Military Dr, San Antonio, TX 78242 it’s a park

7pm if anyone wants to join us.

About the Authors

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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