Why Your Family’s Mental Health Matters

Why Your Family's Mental Health Matters

The family psychiatric treatment helps improve communication and relationships. Find out how family therapy could help you and those close to you:

Improved Communication

When a loved one struggles with mental health, effective communication is key. Families often notice the earliest signs of illness and can play an important role in getting them the needed help. This is because family members are intimately familiar with the person’s habits and personality, making them more likely to recognize any changes that may indicate a deteriorating condition.

However, navigating healthcare systems and accessing treatment can be challenging for families. In addition, a harmful stigma still exists around mental illnesses. These challenges can cause some families to feel isolated and powerless.

The good news is that there are many ways for families to improve communication and build stronger relationships. For example, practicing active listening, expressing empathy, and encouraging open-ended discussions can contribute to more meaningful conversations. Additionally, seeking guidance from a therapist or support group can provide valuable resources and support. Finally, a consultative approach to family psychiatric care can allow all members to participate in decision-making.

Better Adherence to Treatment

Many people with mental health conditions struggle with adherence to their medications. This can be due to various factors, including a lack of understanding about the situation and why medicine is needed, poor habits, or not having all the necessary information, such as how to take their medications correctly.

Having an effective support system can help with treatment adherence. This can be as simple as ensuring that medications are always accessible, providing regular reminders and reinforcing positive behavior, establishing a routine, and regularly reviewing and reconfirming medication regimens.

Families should also recognize the early signs of mental health issues, so they can encourage loved ones to seek treatment and accompany them to therapy sessions or other types of treatment. It can be a great way to prevent mental health problems from getting worse and improve the quality of life of everyone involved.

Stronger Relationships

If you are worried about a loved one’s mental health, encourage them to seek treatment. If they are reluctant, ask what is holding them back. Often, people are afraid to admit that they have a problem. If you can understand their reasons, you may be able to help them overcome their fears.

Family psychiatry empowers families to partner in their loved one’s mental healthcare actively. They become more knowledgeable about health conditions, treatment options, and coping strategies, so they can provide informed support, make decisions collaboratively with their loved ones, and advocate for them within the healthcare system.

Psychologists have long known that social ties influence mental health and behavior, especially within the family. Empowering families to participate in their loved ones’ psychiatric care actively strengthens the therapeutic alliance, promotes better treatment adherence, and enhances overall treatment outcomes. It also helps improve the quality of relationships and the well-being of family members.

Better Health

The family unit’s health is often a major factor in individuals’ mental and physical well-being. When a loved one seeks mental health treatment, the entire family is encouraged to participate in therapy to foster communication, support and problem-solving skills. Empowering families to participate actively in their loved one’s care can also help them navigate healthcare systems and advocate for their needs, leading to better access to services and improved outcomes.

Please encourage your family member to visit their primary care physician or to call a psychiatric clinic for an evaluation and referral. You may be able to accompany them to the appointment, which can help ease any anxiety they might feel about seeking help for their mental health.

Erica is a board-certified, autonomous psychiatric nurse practitioner with years of experience in various psychiatric settings and conditions. She believes in empowering her patients with education and collaboration so that they can use their strengths to achieve the desired outcome of recovery.

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