Caregivers of People With Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI)
Do you have a family member or close friend who suffers from Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder)?
Are you at a loss as to how best help him or her? Does he or she refuse help?
Has your loved one’s illness caused serious disruption in your family or peer group?
While our society has become more accepting of the validity of mental health issues, particularly depression and anxiety, the stigma surrounding psychotic illness remains entrenched. Accepting a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder can be exceedingly difficult, and families often struggle with feelings of guilt, frustration, and sadness. I will explore the toll the illness has taken on you and those around you, and how you can best support your family member while also protecting and preserving your own emotional well-being. At times, this may include providing concrete resources for both you and your loved one with mental illness. As a mental health practitioner with several years of case management experience working in both inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings, I am well-equipped to help you access and navigate the complex mental health system in New York City.
Living with the effects of mental illness can be especially isolating; often, people avoid sharing their struggle with others out of fear of being misunderstood or ostracized. Therapy can be especially valuable in gaining a greater understanding of the signs and symptoms of mental illness, ways to intervene, and in learning how to cope with the often taxing effects on the caregiver.