Working with Families to Improve your Clients’ Mental Health

Most training for health care professionals targets the individual living with the illness. In reality, however, health care professionals will interact with family members at some point along the continuum from prevention, to assessment and intake, early intervention, treatment, maintenance and relapse prevention. Understanding the needs of families and family dynamics will help professionals engage family members in service and better facilitate recovery of the individuals they are working with. Family engagement is widely considered a best practice in mental health.

Who Should Attend

This training is suitable for social workers, occupational therapists, family workers, crisis workers, outreach workers, addiction therapists, nurses, case managers and other health care professionals who work primarily with individuals living with chronic mental illness but may also provide some support and consultation to family members.

You Will Learn To

  • Understand the needs and motivations of family members across the generational spectrum that arise in different stages of recovery.
  • Learn how to engage family members to provide positive support in crises and maintain long-term recovery.
  • Apply effective communication skills to diffuse family conflicts, promote positive interaction, cultivate trust and mutual understanding.

Session Topics Include

  • Recovery as a family business and parallel process
  • Understanding how mental illness affects each family member including parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses and children
  • Working with families to support their relatives through crises and maintain long-term recovery
  • Equipping families with information and resources to mitigate worry and frustration
  • Forming crisis prevention, intervention, and recovery plans with the family
  • Applying reflective listening and effective communication skills with clients and their families
  • Addressing privacy and confidentiality

Benefits of the Program

  • Learn how to harness the expertise of families to improve client outcomes.
  • Develop deeper understanding of clients through families.
  • Improve relationships between the health care team, clients, and families.

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