Free online course offers Family to Family support

The challenges families face when a loved one has a mental illness can be overwhelming.

Imagine what it is like to have a family member who is actively psychotic, paranoid or so deeply depressed that they can’t get out of bed. Or to live with a loved one who has uncontrollable manic swings, who is grandiose and full of energy one minute and then suddenly in a furious rage?

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Families who care deeply for a relative or friend affected by mental illness face a number of burdens, discomforts, responsibilities and fears. Their lives can be shattered by unpredictable episodes of bizarre behaviours and disrupted by prolonged periods of separation due to hospitalization or apprehension by police.

Family members may be emotionally at risk because of their ill relatives’ negative mood, lack of awareness and possible conflict within the family. Consequences are extensive and can result in confusion, abuse, economic difficulties, poor social interaction and inadequate coping skills.

Family to Family is a free, eight-session course for families and friends of individuals struggling with mental illness. It provides information, coping skills and support.

In presenting the course, Pathways Serious Mental Illness Society is supported on the Sunshine Coast by the BC Schizophrenia Society, Sunshine Coast Branch and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

The facilitators are trained family members living on the Sunshine Coast.

Family to Family is being offered online on Wednesdays from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

To register and learn more about Family to Family contact www.pathwayssmi.org/education/family-to-family-course/ or email familysupport@pathwayssmi.org or phone 604-926-0856.

– Submitted

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