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Impact on Families: Mental Health

Impact on Families: Mental Health

There has been a lot of focus on mental health since the beginning of the COVID pandemic - from mental health organisations such as ours, to politicians and mental health advocates. But, what about the families and carers of individuals experiencing mental illness? How do they cope with the day-to-day reality of living with and caring for someone with a mental illness?

Families experience the effects of mental illness first-hand and they have to find ways to deal with the challenges that come with living with mental illness.

What are the impacts on the family of someone with a mental illness?

A mental illness can have a significant impact on a family. It can cause financial stress, as well as emotional and physical stress. The person with the mental illness may need more care and support than the rest of the family can provide, which can lead to resentment and conflict. The effects of mental illness can also be felt by the other members of the family, who may struggle to cope with their own feelings and the impact of the illness on their loved one.

Some of the impacts include:

  1. The emotional and physical toll on family members

Family members who live with someone with a mental illness often suffer from emotional and physical tolls. They may feel isolated and alone, as well as constantly worried about their loved one. Many family members become exhausted from dealing with the day-to-day challenges of living with someone with a mental illness. They may also have trouble maintaining their own health and well-being. In addition, family members may experience financial strain due to the cost of treatment and medication. The emotional and physical tolls on family members can be significant, but there is help available. Support groups, counselling, and other resources can provide much-needed assistance. With proper care and support, family members can find ways to cope with the challenges of living with a mental illness.

  1. How to cope with the stress of caring for someone with a mental illness

Caring for someone with a mental illness can be a stressful and demanding experience. It is important to remember that you are not alone in this, and there are ways to cope with the stress. First, it is important to understand the impact that mental illness can have on family members and close friends. This can help you to be more patient and understanding when dealing with the person with the mental illness. Second, it is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. This means eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Finally, it is important to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. Whether this is a family member, friend, or professional counsellor, talking about your experiences can help you to feel less alone and better able to cope with the stress of caring for someone with a mental illness.

  1. Ways to provide support for your loved one

Mental illness can have a profound impact on family life. Parents may feel overwhelmed by the challenges of caring for a child with mental illness, and siblings may struggle to understand and support their brother or sister. However, there are many ways that families can come together to support each other during this difficult time. First, it is important to educate yourself about mental illness and its effects on the family. This can help you to understand your loved one's experience and provide them with the best possible care. Second, make sure to communication openly and honestly with your family members. This will allow everyone to share their thoughts and feelings, and to develop a plan for moving forward together. Be sure to offer your love and support to each member of your family unconditionally. Let them know that you are there for them, no matter what. Finally, reach out for help from professionals or support groups when necessary. These resources can provide you with valuable information and support as you navigate this difficult journey.

  1. The importance of self-care for family members

When a family member has a mental illness, it can have a big impact on the whole family. It's important to remember to take care of yourself, too. Self-care can help you deal with stress, anxiety, and guilt. It can also help you be a better support for your loved one. Make sure to take time for yourself every day, even if it's just a few minutes. Exercise, eat healthy foods, and get enough sleep. Spend time with friends and family members who make you feel good about yourself. Taking care of yourself will help you be there for your loved one when they need you most.

  1. How to find resources and support for you and your loved one

Please find below some links to mental health info & resources:

Raising Children Network

Mental health & physical health | Raising Children Network

Welcome to ReachOut.com | ReachOut Australia

Black Dog Institute | Science. Compassion. Action.

Anxiety, depression and suicide prevention support - Beyond Blue

CCI - Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar & Eating Disorders - Perth (health.wa.gov.au)

Mental health services and support contact list - Services and programs (nsw.gov.au)

Mental health: where to get help | healthdirect

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