Family Members of Adults with Serious Mental Illness
Family caregivers for adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) face remarkable challenges providing appropriate support for the person with the disorder. SMI alters the developmental process, often starting in adolescence or young adulthood, with consequences for family functioning. Family members often feel responsible, or may be held responsible by legal and social service systems. The burden of care can be substantial, and often lasts a lifetime for committed family members, including parents of adults with SMI, spouses, partners, siblings, and, with later onset disorders, children.
A summary of interventions available to assist caregivers for adults with SMI and other family members has been developed by the Family Institute for Education, Practice and Research
Education, training, and support services available through the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
A website for children in a household with a mentally ill member from the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers the Journey of (JOH) Family Education Course.
Caregivers and Mental Illness: Living with Schizophrenia (World Federation for Mental Health, 2014) considers caring for those with severe mental illness across the lifespan, including a section on caregivers of older adults.
In the Practice Section
- Common Caregiving Problems
- What do Psychologists Need to Know to Help Family Caregivers?
- How Caregivers Reach Psychologists
- Psychologists as Direct Service Clinicians and Consultants
- Conceptual Models
- Variations for Practice with Culturally Diverse Groups
- Business Pragmatics
- Common Ethical Issues