Ultimately, you can only help your partner, relative, or friend with a mental illness by looking after yourself. In addition to an understanding of what it is that your loved one is going through and what the best prognosis and process is to follow from now on, YOU have to be able to help. You can only do this if you are relaxed, motivated to encourage change, and appreciate how important you are in making positive changes. There is no hiding the fact that it is hard work.
Any change requires effort and a resilient mind. To facilitate such a process in the best way possible for all involved, you may need to gain insights and skills in areas that you have not thought or known of before, or maybe even areas that you have neglected a little. The objective of this course is to provide you with the information, guidelines, and exercises needed to assist your loved one in overcoming his or her mental illness, or manage the symptoms thereof. Therefore, much of the focus is on YOU instead of the patient. An overwrought, distressed, and tired per-son cannot effectively tend to someone else. But a relaxed, confident, and energetic person is able to infuse those qualities into someone else and lead the way to positive change.
Basically, you have to learn to let go of many assumptions, beliefs, and habits to develop skills and a mindset to effectively help others. In the next section, we give you guidelines how to best achieve this.