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Family and Caregiver Support

Having a family member with a mental illness can be very stressful. Whether the ill person is a son, daughter, husband, wife, brother or sister, you will be affected by their illness too. A person with a psychiatric disorder often needs much love, help and support. At the same time, the problems, fears and behaviour of your ill relative may strain your patience and your ability to cope.
There are many different kinds of mental illness, and each has its own symptoms. During periods when your relative is ill, he/she may be demanding and disruptive, or extremely withdrawn and inactive. In fact, an ill person’s behaviour may keep on changing because the symptoms may fluctuate.
Whether you suspect, or know for certain, that a member of your family has a psychiatric disorder, you will probably find that it helps to learn about the disorder.

Being There: When Mental Illness Strikes Someone Near You

A Guide for a Friend, Family Member or Co-Worker

When you first realize that someone you are close to may have a mental illness, it can be a chaotic and frightening time. You fear where this may lead. Suddenly you are called upon to provide special support for which you feel completely unprepared. What can you do? Who can you talk to?

If you’re in this situation, this guide is for you. It gives information and advice from others who have been through your experience.


Mental Illness in the Family

Wife, husband, parent, child, grandparent – if someone in your family has been diagnosed with a mental illness, you are probably feeling a mixture of emotions. Concern, compassion, anger, frustration, relief, anxiety, sadness, love, guilt…any and all of these emotions are understandable and normal. What can you do to help your family member, and just as important –what can you do to help yourself?