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4 Ways Families Can Show Their Support

April 20, 2017

Families play an important role in the recovery of a loved one. Oftentimes, it may be difficult for families to know what approach is best when supporting a loved one. Skyland Trail Psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen McDaniel recently presented at the Family STEP group and offers some advice for families as they help support their loved one in recovery.

Things families can do to show their support

Get educated. The best thing for family members to do is to educate themselves about their loved one’s mental illness and treatment. Knowledge can provide families practical insight and understanding. Find local educational programs and support groups in your area through NAMI or participate in our Family STEP Program Tuesdays at 6:30 PM.

Provide empathetic support.  Just as someone with cancer did not choose to have cancer, your loved one did not choose to have a mental illness. Having a mental illness is not a sign of weakness. Providing support such as spoken encouragement can reduce your loved one’s level of stress and help your loved one learn to manage his or her mental illness.

Have patience. Treatment takes time.

Support treatment adherence. Encourage your family member to follow the treatment plan. This might mean offering transportation to your loved one’s appointments or gently reminding your loved one to take his or her medication. Invite your loved one to exercise perhaps alongside you or go to the grocery store together and buy healthy foods.

STEP is open to any caregiver or family member engaged with an individual with mental illness. You do not have to be affiliated with a Skyland Trail client to participate. Family STEP is free for family members of Skyland Trail clients and alumni. There is a minimal fee for community participants with no current relationship with Skyland Trail. Learn more >