Family Caregivers as First Responders

Family caregivers are in an ideal position to be attuned to and provide support for their loved ones living with mental illness. This psychoeducation program is designed to enhance the caregiver’s knowledge of mental illness and develop strategies to manage conflict, prevent relapse, and promote recovery for themselves and their loved ones.

Who Should Attend

This program is suitable for family caregivers and friends of individuals living with chronic mental illness including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, schizophrenia and/or substance use.

You Will Learn To

  • Understand the signs and symptoms of major mental illness and the science behind their treatments.
  • Learn about the range of treatment options including medication, psychotherapy and complementary and alternative treatments.
  • Identify the role of family caregivers in recovery and learn valuable communication skills to improve quality of life.
  • Develop a proactive family plan to handle crises more effectively and support long-term recovery.

Session Topics Include

  • Understanding mental illness and substance use
  • Treating major mental illnesses: from best practice to emerging practice
  • Recovery as a family business and parallel process
  • Grieving the loss in mental illness
  • Practicing self care to model recovery
  • Developing problem solving skills through scenarios
  • Practicing communication skills through scenarios
  • Learning conflict management and de-escalation skills
  • Knowing how to prevent relapse and intervene respectfully
  • Understanding the mental health systems and laws governing service and treatment
  • Advocating for the person who cannot speak for themselves
  • Forming a family plan to get everyone involved

Benefits of the Program

Psychoeducation for family caregivers is an evidenced-based best practice with demonstrated positive outcomes that:

  • Benefit the person living with a mental health problem or illness.
  • Improve the wellbeing and enhance the supportive role of caregivers.
  • Reduce cost to the health and social services system.

This program will be evaluated through a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures to ensure that learning objectives have been met. The program can be customized to meet your educational goals and time frame. A Train-the-Trainer package can also be implemented in your organization.