Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Caregiver Support Group

Once a month I go to a family caregiver support group in our area that gives support to those who have a family member who suffers from a mental illness.

The meetings are in the early afternoon and we have a light lunch that is provided. We share the goings on in our families over the last month (or more if we haven't been for awhile) and support and encourage each other. It is strictly confidential what we share and there are rules as to how we should respond to each other.
There is a care worker there that can offer much more from being a mediator, support person, offering help in many areas like finance, information etc and there are books and DVDs to borrow. There are also camps and other outings provided if we wish to join in.

Last month we were given a new booklet put out by the Mental Health Commission.

'When someone you care about has mental health or addiction problems - A guide for family, whanau * and freinds.'

You can actually down load it from here or to order a hard copy email or call (04) 474 8900. (New Zealand)
One of the sites they mention is Kites a website with lots of support and downloads for those with a mental illness and/or family members.

On page 16 of the booklet above there are some very good points titled.

Caring for your own well-being
  • Be proactive about self care.
  • Wherever possible, maintain familiar daily routines.
  • Decide what refreshes you - and do it regularly.
  • Celebrate the good stuff.
  • Ask yourselves how you are managing as a family, whanau *.
  • Give yourselves permission to seek support where needed.
It was encouraging to read the booklet and to be reminded the importance of theses points not just for me to remember, but for the family so that I can be all I want to be for them.

* whānau (noun) extended family, family group, a familiar term of address to a number of people - in the modern context the term is sometimes used to include friends who may not have any kinship ties to other members.

1 comment :

  1. It's great that you are able to access that support. Something that simple can really make the difference between coping and a breakdown. I'm really pleased you have that support :)