Mental illnesses are chronic disorders whose onset and acute phases are stressful and traumatic for everyone involved. Those who are ill struggle with mood, anxiety and delusions; family members struggle with guilt, grief, fear and isolation.
The health system offers some help to those who are ill, but the family is usually left to cope alone as best they can.
The BC Schizophrenia Society - Sunshine Coast Branch can help.
A free, intensive 12-session program called Family to Family starts March 26 with classes from 7 to 9:30 p.m. every Tuesday until June 11 at Arrowhead Centre in Sechelt.
The program gives participants the tools to understand the symptoms of mood, anxiety and psychotic disorders, and to empathize with those experiencing them. Treatment, communication, advocacy and self-care are among the topics that are covered. Participants will learn from and give support to each other within the structure of this well-tested program, and become empowered to deal more confidently with their own particular situation.
The course is free, but class size is limited, so early registration is advised. To register, please call Rebecca at 604-740-0406.