Families play an important role in the recovery journey of people experiencing mental illness. Whānau / Family can refer to anyone who supports or cares for a person experiencing mental illness. When someone you love is experiencing mental illness it can feel like an emotional rollercoaster and a challenge for you, your relationships and your family.
Acceptance, love and boundary setting can be pivotal in helping a loved one recover. Denial, disapproval, blame and judgement is likely to worsen the situation. As family / whānau there is a lot you can do to help. It’s important to keep your self-care as a priority in order do to your best for your loved one.
We have outlined the main points to consider below. You can download a help-sheet with full details of each point:
- Practice Self-Care
- Resource yourself
- Be patient
- Stay in touch
- Be persistently kind
- Be positive
- Start conversations and not conflict
- Make sure you have resources
- Find a support network and keep it active
Parent Help – 0800 568 856 for parents/whānau seeking support, advice and practical strategies on all parenting concerns. Anonymous, non-judgemental and confidential.
Family Services Helpline – 0800 211 211 for help finding (and direct transfer to) community based health and social support services in your area.
Skylight – 0800 299 100 for support through trauma, loss and grief; 9am–5pm weekdays.
Yellow Brick Road – For families and whānau supporting a loved one who has a mental illness. Auckland 0800 732 825. Find other regions' contact details here.