Families and Mental Illness: Speaking from Experience
by Sane Australia
Hear several caretakers talk candidly about their family members' mental illness and how they have found support in their most challenging times.
Living with a mental illness can affect every aspect of one's life, but it can also affect the lives of family members and caretakers. This candid video presents the experiences of four families and illustrates the challenges both those struggling with mental illness and their caretakers face.

Miles shares memories from his journey through bipolar disorder and addiction, while his mother, Jo, recalls her efforts to find support through the years. Kris cares for his brother who has schizophrenia and frankly discusses the struggles he has had to maintain his own life and emotional balance. Janelle and her significant other Ian share how the volatility of Janelle's illness has affected their relationship. And Liz discusses the evolution of her relationship with her adult son and the ways she cared for herself during the most trying times of his illness.

These personal accounts are honest and humble, providing viewers with relatable stories of family members supporting one another. The panelists' candid discussions of their experiences not only illustrate the day-to-day struggles of those living with mental illness, but also shed light on the less-discussed challenges of family members. This perspective gives viewers useful insight into the impact of mental illness on the family dynamic, and the critical role of the caretakers.

The family members featured in this video also share helpful skills they've mastered over the years as well as their own methods of self-care. They emphasize the importance of self-care and share advice on seeking out support. They remind viewers that the experience of the entire family must be considered when examining an individual's mental illness.

The panelists' insights are direct but optimistic, as they discuss the progress their loved ones have made. Hearing what has and has not worked for these families offers valuable insights and ideas to those in similar situations as well as to clinicians working with families.
In Depth
Whether you're personally impacted by a loved one with mental illness or you're a clinician working with families, this video presents honest perspectives and useful advice. It is especially useful for clinicians interested or specializing in family therapy. The focus on the role and needs of the caretakers is a refreshing point of view and an important one to millions of families in similar situations. You'll gain a better understanding of the impact mental illness has on relationships as well as the often overlooked needs of caretakers.

From watching this video, you will:
  • Better understand the ever-changing challenges of someone with mental illness and the impact the illness has on family members and relationships.
  • Learn about the role of caretakers and the skills loved ones in this position must master.
  • Gain an understanding of the importance of self-care for caretakers and hear several examples of effective self-care.

Length of video: 00:34:58

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-510-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-510-6

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