managing mental illness

For many, managing mental illness requires discipline, self-reliance, perseverance and a tremendous amount of support. Perhaps most important though is the realization that it is possible to manage mental illness. It is possible for people living with mental illness to be in control of their illness just as it is possible for their family members to be in control of their lives. While this is true, every person is unique and mental illness affects people differently. Some people living with mental illness can manage it rather easily. Others, however – especially those with severe and persistent mental illness – may struggle to manage their illness through most of their lives. Families differ too in how mental illness affects them and in how they manage mental illness.

Supportive families play an essential role in helping a family member cope with mental illness. People who manage their illnesses best are often those who have a strong social network to support them. In this section, we have included practical tips on medications, hospital stays, discharge planning, emergency and crisis planning, how to recognize relapse signs and how to support your child in school.