This program is specifically designed for individuals who want to care for a partner, family member, or friend with a mental illness. A lot of the focus is on your needs, as the caregiver, so that you are able to provide effective support without negatively affecting your own health. During this program, you will learn about the various concepts of self-caring and caring for someone else.

What are the objectives of the program?

  • To understand the nature, symptoms, and causes of mental illness in general
  • To provide you with the best techniques and practices to care effectively for someone else with a mental illness
  • To give you guidelines and tools to improve your own ability to provide care
  • To emphasize that recovery from a mental illness is a joint journey between patient and caregiver

What does the program do?

The program is designed to offer the best information and tools for you to care for an adult partner, family member, or friend with a mental illness. The training provided is not specific to a particular diagnosis and may include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and even neurocognitive disorders such as dementia, and more.
We offer a psychoeducation component to help you understand the complexities of mental health issues and how to interact with a patient. Perspectives of the cognitive-behavioral theory are included to help you appreciate the importance that beliefs, thoughts, and feelings have on behavior and the consequences that may follow. Practical exercises are included to explore the other person’s thinking patterns, triggers, and risks and protective factors that have to be managed to ensure progress.

An important part of the program is devoted to your health and wellbeing, as the caregiver. You are only able to give the best possible support when you are energized, positive, and attentive. Therefore, several practices and exercises are included to help you relax, and establish a mindful and compassionate attitude, which is inevitably reflected back to the other person. Another important aspect is communication skills to improve motivation and listening, both vital parts of building an effective helping relationship.
If you follow all the concepts and exercises that are outlined in simple explanations and steps, you will find that, by the end of the formal sessions, you will have improved your insight into mental health issues, and be in a frame of mind that facilitates effective support.

The program is best applied using a companion course that addresses the specific mental issues that you will be dealing with, whether it is depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and/or another condition. These courses are completed by the patient, but, as a caregiver, you can act as mentor or guide in the process to help utilize your interaction.

Next, the course structure and sessions are briefly outlined.