Demographic - Caregivers

If you are a caregiver of someone with a mental illness, it is normal to feel unprepared or confused on how to help them. Feelings of inadequacy are common, but are not alone and there is always professional help available.

The following information, forms and documents will assist your loved one to have a voice in their care and an equal opportunity in work, treatment, school, and everyday life as they live with a mental illness.

There are 60 million Americans who provide unpaid care to a family member, friend or neighbor who has a physical or mental illness.  This number is expected to increase over the next few years as the baby boomer generation ages into their senior years.

A lot has been written about the negative impact that parental depression can have on young children, but many of us also deal with parental depression long after we ourselves have become adults.

Let your loved one know you need to have an important conversation.

Individuals living with a mental illness may feel that they are not in control of their lives and are not able to make choices for themselves. As an individual with a mental illness is empowered to participate in their recovery, their mental health is more likely to improve. The idea of empowering individuals with a mental illness to direct their own treatment and make their own decisions is considered self-determination.  

The mental illness your spouse suffers with is something that is happening to your entire family. All are affected; it is nobody’s fault. It is not your spouse’s fault; it is not your fault; it is not your children’s fault. IT IS NOBODY’S FAULT. It is an unfortunate illness. It is NOT automatic grounds for divorce, any more than any other disability.

If you have a family member or friend who’s been diagnosed with a mental illness, you’re probably wondering what you can do to help. Although new forms of therapy and medication make it possible for many individuals to lead full, independent lives, the support of family, friends and peers remains an essential element in the recovery process.

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