Mental Health

Mental health help: When caring for an adult with mental illness

From depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, mental illnesses are diverse but all affect thinking, emotions, perceptions, relationships and behaviour. They can also frequently co-exist with chronic physical conditions or disabilities and substance use problems. Because of their profound ability to change someone’s functioning and their typically-episodic nature, mental illnesses can be especially challenging for those living with someone experiencing them. The mental health system can be equally challenging to navigate. Yet, family and caregiver support can make a huge difference to a loved one’s recovery and ability to access and advocate for care.

This webinar will explore a range of supports and resources in BC available to family caregivers of adults living with a mental illness. By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to describe:

  • Major routes to mental health care for adults in BC;
  • Courses and support groups dedicated to family caregivers for mental illness;
  • A few common-sense strategies for:
    • dealing with a loved one distressed by symptoms
    • preventing and planning ahead for relapse
  • Key phone numbers, publications, agencies and websites to connect with.

There will be a question period after this presentation.

  1. Sarah Hamid-Balma is Director of Mental Health Promotion for the Canadian Mental Health Association’s BC Division, a charitable non-profit organization. Sarah has been a mental health educator for nearly two decades and has a Master’s degree in health communication. She’s also Editor-in-Chief of Visions: BC’s Mental Health and Substance Use Journal and oversees the popular website on behalf of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information.

  1. Hardeep Thind is an Educator with the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society (BCSS). BCSS is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 by families and friends of people with schizophrenia. Since then, BCSS has grown into a province-wide family support system. We are dedicated to supporting each other, educating the public, raising funds for research and advocating for better services for people with schizophrenia and other serious and persistent mental illness. Hardeep has worked in the mental health field for the past 20 years, 18 of them with BCSS. Most recently, Hardeep moved from her role in the Fraser to the Vancouver Regional Team. Hardeep is also a family member of someone who has schizo-effective disorder, so she has been on both sides of the service and seen what a difference it makes for families to be included and supported in their loved ones’ journey!