Support needed for family of those with mental illness

Mental Health America in Sheboygan County is a nonprofit mental health resource center that works to provide services in prevention/education, access to care and recovery support services for mental health. While educating youth and adults on what mental illness is and encouraging individuals with mental health concerns or diagnoses to seek appropriate treatment is something we focus on as an organization, we also recognize that families and friends of persons with a mental illness often face a unique set of challenges. Being the adult sibling, child of, spouse of, or close friend to someone with a mental illness often affects the individual in fundamental ways. It can be scary to watch your loved one experience emotional turmoil and behave strangely and/ or unpredictably. Feelings of helplessness for how to help your loved one get help or how to support their ongoing journey in recovery commonly increases stress in one’s own life.

It can also be difficult to come to terms with your loved one’s illness.

A good starting place for learning to cope yourself is to educate yourself — find out as much information as possible about mental illness by reading and by talking with others experiencing similar difficulties.

MHA has a variety of resources available for you — books, pamphlets, fact sheets and other resources on various illnesses, treatments and challenges you may have to deal with. From 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 13, MHA will hold an informational session for any interested family and friends who have loved ones with mental illness at 817 N. Eighth St., Sheboygan.

The purpose of the informational session is to connect with others to provide mutual support, learn about local resources, discuss strategies and techniques for self-care, learn positive coping skills, learn healthy communication techniques and discuss future possibility of additional informational and support sessions based on participation feedback from the initial session.

To register for this session, call 920-458-3951, email info@mhas or find more details at www.

Kate Baer is the executive director for Mental Health America in Sheboygan County and cochair of the Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Committee.