Thursday, November 12, 2009

Step #1 Of Leading A Balanced Life

NAMI's signature family education program Family-to-Family is a multi-faceted program for families who have a loved one diagnosed with a mental illness. Self-care for the caregiver is one of many focuses. There are seven principles for a caregiver to lead a balanced life, as discussed in last week's blog post.

Here is more detail on principle #1: Do as much as you can physically and financially to improve the situation, but don't feel guilty about all you won't be able to do.

If it isn't possible to maintain a degree of peace, dignity and well being within the family while the person with mental illness lives at home, other arrangements should be made. If it is necessary, don't be embarrassed about seeking public support through available social services such as community clinics or state hospitals. You have every right to ask for information and help from the facilities of our state Department of Mental Health. Tax dollars are meant to support the truly disabled.

For more information on mental illness or the Family-to-Family program, visit the NAMI Southwestern Pennsylvania website.