The effect of mental illness on family relationship

How mental illness affects family members

the effect of mental illness on family relationship

Your family life can positively or negatively impact your mental health. Learn more about how relationships affect mental well-being. A brief overview of mental health problems and causes, and the impact of mental health problems on family relationships and dynamics. A recent survey by Priory Group has outlined the effects of mental health problems on family members and relationships.

Children should be encouraged to talk about their feelings. It is important to let children know their feelings are normal.

the effect of mental illness on family relationship

You may also want to use these talks as an opportunity to discuss ways the children can cope with their feelings. Children often feel isolated and alone. They are better able to deal with issues when they have the support of a caring person who listens to their feelings.

impact of mental illness on different family members

There are a number of ways to support children and help adjust to living with someone with a mental illness. Family life is about more than the illness. You want to make sure your children continue to feel safe and secure, with as little disruption in their everyday routine as possible. Try to make time for family outings or just do things with your children. Cooking or creating art together can be a great time to talk things out without getting heated or upset.

How Does Family Life Affect Mental Health?

Talk about your feelings and encourage your children to share theirs. Children can easily sense when things are not right.

the effect of mental illness on family relationship

Encourage them to speak about their fears, guilt and confusion. If your children are old enough, talk to them about the illness and let them know about long-term plans for on-going support; involve them in supporting their family member if it seems they can handle the responsibilities.

If they are worried that they or their own children may develop a mental illness, talk to them about their chances.

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There are websites and other research materials available that discuss the statistics of inheriting mental illness. Consider counselling or other professional help. Provide them with age-appropriate information about the illness.

There are some resources listed in the appendix, but you may want to check with your local library to see if they have suitable materials, particularly for very young children. Ask library staff to recommend some appropriate reading material. Help them to see that they are not alone. Encourage them to meet others in similar situations. Provide a safety network: Provide a list of names and telephone numbers of caring adults for children and youth to call if they need help.


Defuse their fears with information. It is not just about how to care for the person who is ill, but also about how you can manage your own health and stress levels. Ask your doctor about local or online courses you can access. Parenting while experiencing mental illness Parenting can be challenging as well as rewarding. If you or your partner has a mental illness, it can increase the challenges for your family.

They can help with getting your little one to sleep, feeding, discipline, and your own health and wellbeing. If you are outside of Melbourne, ask your doctor to refer you to a centre. If your children are over three years old, your healthcare team can direct you towards services in your area that might suit you and your family. Ask your doctor, counsellor, nurse or another healthcare professional where you can get support.

Crisis plans for you and your children It is a good idea to have a plan ready in case you or someone in your family experiences a sudden or rapid deterioration in their mental health. Make a list of people you can ring for support. If your children are old enough to use the phone, keep the numbers somewhere they will be able to find them if they need to.

Have a chat with them about what a crisis such as this could look like. Let them know that they can call someone they trust whenever they feel worried — about you or themselves. The most common mental illnesses are anxiety disorders and depression. Parent—child relationships can be complex, and if your child is experiencing mental illness, caring for them can be difficult at times. It is very important to do your best to balance taking care of them with allowing them to be in charge of their own healthcare.

It is also really important to remember to take care of yourself — taking time out regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthily and exercising. You can support others much better when you are healthy and rested.

Read more about Hospitals, clinics and residential options. Resources for young people with a mental illness There are a number of online counselling and information websites set up specifically for young people, including: Youthbeyondblue aims to empower young people aged 12—25, their friends and those who care for them to respond to anxiety and depression.

The Effect of Mental Illness on the Family Relationship | HealthyPlace

ReachOut provides online counsellors, practical information, tools and support to young people with mental illnesses. Headspace provides a telephone helpline and drop-in centres around Australia, as well as information and places to engage online. Check the eligibility requirements with Centrelink.