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Family Caregiving and Mental Illness

November 7, 2022

From the Office for Social Ministry

Family Caregiving is a very significant ministry for many members and parishioners in the Diocese. According to Mental Health America, at least one-third of all persons receiving caregiving by family, friends and neighbors may have a mental illness. This makes it particularly challenging for caregivers to maintain and balance their physical and mental health, not to mention the strain on work, their social life as well affecting their living faith.

These caregivers play multiple roles which include day-to-day care, supervising medications, transport to the hospital and medical appointments as well as looking after financial needs. All of these responsibilities are compounded by behavioral disturbances which only add to the stress and burden. 

Much needed resources are available to aid caregivers with coping and so to manage matters and avoid burnout or worse. Mental Health America has created an ONLINE GUIDE to help new mental health caregivers navigate their role. Links help to give you more in depth understanding of various mental illnesses, empathy related to negative stigma, best practices, caregiving in the treatment setting, challenges during the recovery process, self-care and more.

Click here to check out the Caregivers Guide

Several years back, a study was conducted by Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in cooperation with the National Alliance on Caregiving. The study was entitled, “On Pins and Needles:  Caregivers of Adults with Mental Illness.” Care recipients in the study were adults with serious-to-moderate emotional or mental health issues. The purpose of the study was to describe the unique experiences and challenges of this targeted subset of caregivers. To read the full copy of “On Pins and Needles: Caregivers of Adults with Mental Illness,” please click here.