We need your help to bring education and support programs to 200+ caregivers of people living with mental health issues!
One in five people will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime. For every person who lives with a mental illness, there is a large network of informal caregivers such as family members, friends, neighbours, colleagues and volunteers who want training to better support that individual.
Informal and family caregivers are in an ideal position to be attuned to and provide support for their loved ones living with mental illness. They bridge the gaps in our mental health system and provide consistent, on-demand care in ways that health care professionals cannot. Often, they are the first to notice when things go wrong. But, like everything else, knowing how to provide effective care is a skill that must be learned.
We encounter many informal caregivers who already provide care for someone in their lives but have little knowledge of mental illness and how to respond to the needs of individuals. Just as troubling, these caregivers experience a high level of stress and burnout, which jeopardizes not only their own health but their ability to provide care for those who depend on them.
To address these identified needs in the community, we offer education and support programs for informal and family caregivers who support someone living with mental illness. Caregivers are a much-neglected group in the mental health system. With your support we can offer evidence-based programs to improve the skills and coping strategies of informal and family caregivers.
"Family Caregivers as First Responders" is a 6-week, 9-hour psychoeducation program designed to enhance caregivers’ knowledge of mental illness and develop skills to manage conflict, prevent relapse, enhance communication, and promote recovery for themselves and someone they care for. The groups are facilitated by mental health experts with extensive clinical and research expertise. Topics include:
- Understanding mental illness and substance use and their treatments
- Recovery as a family business and parallel process
- Effective communication, emotion regulation and problem solving skills
- Forming crisis-intervention and recovery plans
- Navigating the mental health system
Our goal is to offer 10 psychoeducation groups for 200+ people in Ontario throughout 2018 and 2019. Your support will enable informal and family caregivers to receive training at no charge. We will evaluate the outcomes of the groups to ensure that the training is effective and caregivers feel better equipped and empowered to provide effective care. Regular updates will be provided on this site.
Thank you for your generous support and please help spread the word about this campaign!