Family and Caregiver Information
Watching someone you care about suffer with mental illness can make you feel helpless. Our supports can help you get off the sidelines and become an active participant in mental illness by empowering you with education, resources and an action plan to support those you care about to make informed decisions.
Family Support Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who is able to access family support?
We consider a family member to be anyone who identifies as a significant person in an individual’s life. This can be a parent, sibling, extended family member, partner, friend, or any other significant other. We are willing to offer support to anyone the client identifies, as long as both parties consent to that person’s involvement.
What kind of support is available to families?
CMHA offers a drop-in Family Support group, which is designed specifically for family members who are caring for loved ones with a mental illness. By coming together with professionals and other caregivers, they can increase their knowledge about mental health, different resources within the community, gain skills, and learn practical strategies from other caregiver experiences. They will then be better able to contribute to their loved ones recovery process and at the same time promote their self-care.
CMHA also offers a 10-week Family and Caregiver Education program. This structured group assists families and caregivers to increase their knowledge of mental illnesses, get support, and obtain the tools they need to make informed decisions. Topics include information on access to pharmacy, case management, boundaries, communication and more.
What is my role as a family member?
We, at CMHA, want to actively involve the loved ones of the people we serve because the individual’s environment is an important factor in his or her recovery. Your knowledge of, and commitment to, your loved one plays a key role in our work with him or her, in all stages of our work together. This is of course with the consent of the individuals we serve.
What can I do to support my loved one?
- Be an active participant in your loved one’s recovery journey while allowing space for them to explore their own treatment and life choices.
- Appreciate your loved one and accept them for whom they are in this moment, while also holding on to hope that they can achieve their goals and recover. Hope is contagious, even in times of despair.
- Be willing to set realistic limits and boundaries for your loved one and for yourself. This can help create a sense of peace in times of chaos.
- Voice your concerns with respect and be honest with your loved one.
- Take good care of yourself so that you are able to find moments of joy through tough times.
For more information on Family Support programs, please phone Julie Combdon at 905-841-3977 ext. 4255 or 905-713-9263.