"They don't understand," she said. "What it's like -- daily life -- for people that deal with these issues. It's been very hard. "
Until, Jennifer said, people hear her daughter has a mental illness.
"People think people with 'mental health issues' are just going to hurt people and stuff like that and it's not always true," she said.
Alison was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 14, and she struggles with depression and anger.
"It just feels like everybody expects bad out of me," Alison said. "I don't want to be this way at all."
"You see your child hurting, you try to get them the best help there is but resources aren't there," Jennifer said. "We've tried multiple places multiple times. They don't know what to do with her. They say if something gets worse, we might be able to do something. But for now, it's wait and see."
After in-patient treatment, therapy, and medications, Jennifer is running out of places to turn.
"People say put her in a facility or call the police and lock her up," Jennifer said. "That's my child, and there should be other options."
Mental health professionals like Kimberly Gober believe the public needs help understanding mental health as a medical condition affecting the brain.
"We don't tell people with diabetes c'mon get your blood sugar up," she said. "But we tell people suffering from mental health conditions to just pull themselves up by their boot straps. And it doesn't really work that way."
According to Gober, mental conditions are different in every person.
"There are varying levels -- when we diagnose, we try to determine the severity of the illness," she said. "And it works the same way with other medical issues as well. Two people can eat a doughnut, and one person is going to see an unhealthy sugar spike while the other may have needed that increase."
Treatment can be successful through trial and error. But there are no quick or easy fixes.
"There are some treatments that work for a time, and then you have to re-evaluate," Gober said. "The important message to get out to people is: It's okay. It's your brain. And you can be helped."
"It's an ongoing battle," Alison said. "I have days where I deal with anger and I don't know why. But I hope I'll get better."
The situation forces families like Jennifer and Alison to simply have faith and believe in future possibilities.
"She's going to be okay. I just hold onto that hope that she'll be okay," Jennifer said.