The Silent Epidemic: One family's struggle with mental illness

Editor's note: Some details of this story may be disturbing to some readers.

LOS ANGELES - Two Southern California parents say there is an untreated epidemic of mental illness and it needs to be our focus.

Kerry and Kiffen Madden-Lunsford told FOX 11's Brooke Thomas they have supported their son through homelessness, self-harm and arrests. However, judges and lawyers have ignored their pleas. 

The Maddens want to make it clear that they are not antagonistic to the court system, but they want officials to know it's not working as is. They also want other parents to know they're not alone.

"It's just not a path that you that we ever thought we would be on as parents. But it makes me realize that if we hadn't had this journey, I would have thought: ‘well, just pay attention to your kids,’" Kerry Madden-Lunsford said.