Saturday, April 6, 2019

F- Family Awareness & Support #MentalHealthAwareness

She was aware of her mental health condition, she wanted to see a therapist, but her family deterred it, was she mad they asked? Family Support and Awareness?

Being diagnosed with a serious mental illness can be a shock — both for the person diagnosed and for his or her family and friends. Mental illnesses are disorders that affect a person’s mood, thoughts or behaviors. Although new forms of therapy, medications and community services have enabled many individuals to lead full, independent lives, support from family, friends and peers remains an essential element in the recovery process.

Individuals diagnosed with these diseases can live full, rewarding lives, especially if they seek treatment as needed. By learning more about the illness, you can support your loved one through diagnosis and beyond.

There are many ways you can help someone with a mental illness navigate the treatment system and work towards recovery. As in any relationship, emotional and practical support is always needed. Occasionally, family and friends participate in someone's recovery by offering transportation, financial and housing assistance. Whatever form it takes, your support, compassion and respect matter.

Some ways for supporting someone close to you:

  • ·         Educate yourself about the illness and mental health in general
  • ·         Express your concern and support
  • ·         Recognize that that the survivor may be scared and confused
  • ·         Listen carefully and with empathy
  • ·         Encourage them to be active in their recovery process
  • ·         Recognize that treatment and recovery takes time, be patient
  • ·         Help them get self-esteem, social support and feeling of worthiness
  • ·         Assist in visits and interactions with social workers, counselors, or other professionals.
  • ·         Always respect the individual's need for and right to privacy

A few effective ways to talk about Mental Health
It isn’t easy to start a conversation about mental health often. Try leading with these questions and ensure you actively listen to the survivor's response.

  • ·         I've been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing?
  • ·         Can I help you to talk about your mental health issues with someone you are comfortable with?
  • ·         What else can I help you with?
  • ·         How you are feeling?
  • ·         It seems like you are going through a difficult time. Can I help you to find any assistance?
  • ·         I'm concerned about your safety. Do you think about self-harm or harming others?

Seek immediate assistance if you think your friend or family member is in danger of harming themselves.

When families are accepted as partners in care and do receive training and support, there is strong evidence that this leads to better outcomes for everyone involved. Families are often the main support for people affected by mental illness, and have a right to be treated as ‘partners in care’.

These networks can be made up of parents, children, siblings, spouses or partners, extended families, close friends and others who care about us like neighbours, co-workers, coaches and teachers.

It’s also important to look after yourself as a caregiver, too. Supporting someone who experiences mental illness isn't easy – it’s often physically and emotionally draining, which can affect your health and well being. So emphasis must also be in self-care.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


  1. Such an important angle of mental health - family, nobody talks much about it, glad to read your post.

    1. Family as the most basic unit in society has an important role to play in aiding any individual.

  2. The most difficult part is to let the person open up. If you can give the person that comfort to open up to you and share what they are feeling, taking them through treatments becomes relatively easy. And therefore, your patience and empathy plays a major role. Off-course self care helps you stay persistent till you connect with the person.

    Informative and helpful post there Pooja :)

    1. Yes Akanksha habingha family that is a safe space is so crucial for recovery.

  3. This is something I have said in my own suicide prevention posts... That family can often be a huge hurdle in mental health care rather than being the saving grace. This is simply because unlike other diseases, with mental health, they prefer to hide it under the carpet and force the ailing one to pretend all is well just to avoid social stigmas related to mental health.

    1. Yes Roshan, sadly the ones who can become primary caregivers become the first hurdle.tragic.

  4. Mental illness in a family is tough. Many a time diagnosis is difficult to arrive at, unless disease has a clear physical symptom as in epilepsy or in Parkinson's disease. Drugs have a lot of side effects because they are not selective for target cell. One needs to develop a lot of patience, empathy and courage to deal with family or fried suffering from a mental illness.

    1. Yes Abhijit family is crucial in recovery at every stage.

  5. Glad you wrote about this oft neglected disease . Sadly people tend to treat those suffering from mental illness with far less sympathy leading to further deterioration. In their condition

  6. Self care of caregivers is definitely important. It affects them physically and emotionally as well. That said family understanding and support can help towards recovery or at least managing the illness
    And getting through each day

  7. The family's rock-hard support goes a long way in rehabilitating a mentally ill person and make him or her functional. Most often, caregivers fail to understand the unique needs of a mentally ill person as the demand of the mentally ill does not make sense quite often. Care should be taken by mental health professionals to explain these aspects of mental illness to the family.

    1. Yes Jai family members can make a huge difference.

  8. It's great to see people being aware of mental health and making an effort to spread awareness about the same. Much needed!

  9. When will that day come when people will understand the depth of depression and be a support to the patient.
    We need some drastic lessons on this. I have seen women around my left to fend for themselves by the husband and family without even basic treatment or sent to their Mothers house even after 20 years of marriage!
    Creating awareness is key! Your post is great and hope it reaches far and wide.

  10. Thank you for mentioning the importance of family support and understanding. Those are lacking for so many patients. It can keep them from even looking for the help they need. Sometimes it's denial, other times it's worry of what people will think if they know your parent or child or spouse is ill. The stigma of it needs to end!T Thank you.

  11. Family is the only one that plays major role in case of mental health. A Family can make or even break a person

  12. Family support is very crucial for mental health issues. They can get adequate help to help the sufferer.

  13. Yes Harjeet women most often suffer more in conventional setups and don't seek help too indepenedently.

  14. Yes Lisa you are so right, sometimes it is denial, sometimes plain ignorance, often sadly apathy too.

  15. Rachna and Drashana you are both so right.

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