Family Self-Care and Recovery from Mental Illness

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This resource will talk about ways families can look after their own well-being while caring for a family member. It is important that caregivers remember their own health is equally important. Learning about mental health will help families provide their sick relative with better care, but will also help them maintain their own health. It is essential that you remain well if you are to be able to support your relative effectively.

What you'll find in the workbook

The Family Self-Care and Recovery from Mental Illness manual consists of six sections:

Section One: Mental Illness Recovery

  • Is Recovery Possible?
  • What Is Recovery?
  • How Does the Family Recover?
  • Hope And The Expectation Of Success

Section Two: Caregiving Planning

  • Discharge Plan
  • Caregiving Self-Assessment
  • Confidentiality Of Personal Mental Health Information
  • Advance Planning: Ulysses Agreements
  • Planning For The Future

Section Three: Caring for the Caregiver

  • Healthy Altruism
  • Taking Care Of You
  • Thinking Traps
  • Setting Future Goals
  • Self-Care Chart

Section Four: Past and Future; Maintaining Hope Amidst Ambiguous Loss

  • Two Partners In The Dance Of Recovery Loss And Hope
  • Maintaining Hope And A Positive Attitude

Section Five: Enhancing Relationships within the Family

  • Mental Illness Can Strengthen Family Relationships
  • Supporting Adult Children
  • Ways to Be Supportive as a Spouse or Partner
  • Supporting Siblings
  • Supporting Children When A Parent Has A Mental Illness

Section Six: Transitioning Away From Mental Illness

  • Caregiving And Support During Recovery
  • Your Role As A Supporter
  • Family Member Interest Chart
  • Reviewing Progress In Recovery


  • Appendix A: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Fact Sheet
  • Appendix B: Stages of Recovery
  • Appendix C: References
  • Appendix D: Resources
learn more

The Family Toolkit has more information for relatives supporting a family member with mental illness.