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National Family Caregivers Month

Young woman with hand on older man.

Mental Health America (MHA) is proud to recognize November as National Family Caregivers Month - a time to celebrate the contributions of caregivers, provide them with tools that they need, and continue to advocate for individuals with mental illness.

There are over 60 million Americans who are unpaid caregivers to family, friends and neighbors.

One in 5 caregivers help someone with a mental illness.

Forty-five percent of caregivers for adults with mental illness are parents, 14 percent are adult children and 11 percent are spouses.

The need for caregivers is expected to continue to grow as the US older adult population increases.

Caregiving can often have a significant impact on the life of the caregiver in more ways than one. It can make maintaining your physical and mental health more difficult and may put a strain on work and social life.

Caregivers of people with mental illness are 15 percent more likely to feel emotional stress, 11 percent more likely to report fair or poor health and 9 percent more likely to feel financial strain than caregivers of people with a physical illness. It’s important for caregivers to take care of their own mental health. Visit mhascreening.org to take a free, anonymous and confidential screen.

Supporting caregivers with information and resources can help them maintain their mental health and serve loved ones with mental illness better.

MHA's 2019 Family Caregivers Toolkit

MHA created the 2019 Family Caregivers Toolkit to help caregivers strengthen relationships with their loved ones with mental illness through materials that educate and empower.

If you are a caregiver, with the right tools and perspectives, you can work together with your loved one as a team to accomplish goals, find a treatment plan that works, and be prepared in the event of a crisis.

MHA wants everyone to know that when we take the time to invest in our mental health, we can focus on creating an inclusive world for caregivers and their loved ones to thrive, together.

The toolkit includes:

  • Fact sheets on:
    • Goal setting,
    • Treatment supports,
    • Preparing for an appointment,
    • Treatment options and
    • The HIPAA Privacy Rule;
  • Crisis plan worksheet;
  • Sample social media post language and shareable images;
  • Drop-In article for newsletters;
  • Key messages; 
  • Posters for use in clinicians’ offices, and other places where caregivers may spend time; and
  • Additional resources.

If you think you or a loved-one may be experiencing signs of a mental illness, visit www.mhascreening.org to take a free, quick and confidential screen for depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and/or Alcohol or Substance Use problems.  

Check out this infographic for some quick facts about caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses and the issues they face: Infographic: November is Family Caregivers Month

 

This campaign is supported by contributions from Janssen: Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.