Resources for Coping with Mental Illnesses
Helping a Loved One with Mental Illness
- Resources for Coping with, Preparing for, and Preventing Crises
- Family-to-Family provides education and support for family members who have a loved one with mental illness.
- Communicating with a Loved One Who Has a Mental Illness (PowerPoint or complete document)
- Coping With Family Conflicts – Some Suggestions
- Pathways to Increasing Independence for Adults with Mental Illness
- Problem Solving as a Wellness Tool
- Strategies for Helping Mentally Ill Loved Ones
- Suicide – Prevention; Coping with the Aftermath
- Mental Health First Aid Guidelines for helping someone with depression, panic, psychosis, problem substance use, and other mental health problems are available at: https://mhfa.com.au/mental-health-first-aid-guidelines
- Guides to understanding and helping someone with mental illnesses, as well as advice on stress management and sleep, are available at: http://helpguide.org/ (Search for how to help someone with mental illness.)
- Summary of a family education program with helpful information and advice for people who care about someone living with mental illness is available at: https://www.ouhsc.edu/safeprogram/ (Click on specific lessons to get to the very helpful handouts.)
- Advice on a broad range of topics is available at https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Family-Members-and-Caregivers.
Mental Health Screening Tools
If you are wondering whether it would be advisable to seek professional help, these screening tools can help you evaluate your situation (or your child’s).
- Online screening tools for adults, adolescents and parents of children and teens:
- Online screening tool for adults, older teens, and on behalf of loved ones:
- Online screening tool for parents of children: https://childmind.org/symptomchecker/
- Online screening tools in Spanish (Pruebas de Salud Mental):
http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/pruebas-de-salud-mental-en-espanol and https://childmind.org/chequeo-de-sintomas/
Mental Illnesses and Treatments
- Specific Diagnoses and Conditions
- Adults: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions
- Adults and Adolescents: http://www.helpguide.org/
- Children and Adolescents: https://tinyurl.com/y5uj6eeh
- SMI Advisor (information about mental illness, recovery, community resourrces, caregiver supports, etc.)
- Caring for the Whole Person: a Psychiatrist’s Perspective
- Choosing the Right Mental Health Professional
- Inpatient Hospitalization
- Strategies Family Members Can Use to Communicate with Mental Health Professionals (despite HIPAA)
- General resources to help you find mental health treatment services, including affordable treatment for those without insurance:
- for southeastern Pennsylvania: https://namimainlinepa.org/services-in-sepa-2/intro-to-services/ and https://namimainlinepa.org/behavioral-health-services/
- for co-occurring disorders/dual diagnoses: https://findtreatment.gov/ (After you search by your location, you can specify co-occurring disorders.)
- Medications: http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Mental-Health-Medications
- Help Paying for Medications: https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Living-with-a-Mental-Health-Condition/Getting-Help-Paying-for-Medications
- Digital Mental Health Services, Apps, & Wearables: See
1) popular tele-therapy services like BetterHelp & TalkSpace;
2) rated apps which can be found at PsyberGuide.org, and especially for Cognitive Behavior Therapy,
3) wearables for mental health tracking and you can see some examples here
4) virtual & augmented reality for PTSD & schizophrenia
5) care coordination platforms that assist with the care of self & loved ones.
For healthcare professionals, also take look at the American Psychiatry Association’s App Evaluation Framework which provides a number of criteria for the evaluation of mental health mobile apps.
- How to Get Government Services for Someone with Mental Illness
(PowerPoint or complete document), with additional information in:
- Introduction to Services for Individuals and Family Members in Southeastern Pennsylvania
- Housing Options for People Living with Mental Illness
- Planning for the Legal and Financial Future of a Loved One with Mental Illness
- Resources for Helping Children and Teens
- Resources for Transition Age Youth (16-24)
- Early and First Episode Psychosis – What is it and how should it be treated?
- How to Access Valuable Behavioral Services in PA: Consider Medical Assistance for a Child/Teen with a Serious Disability
- Mental Health Books for Children and Teens and Their Parents
Self-care and General
- Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health Services (PowerPoint or complete document)
- Family Members and Caregivers
- Ambiguous Loss (PowerPoint; YouTube PowerPoint + audio, Part 1 and Part 2)
- Caregiver Selfcare (PowerPoint)
- Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers
- Living with A Mental Health Condition
- Steps to Better Physical Health
- What We Need to Know & Do – A Faith-Based African-American Perspective (PowerPoint)
- Helping Individuals with Mental Illness to Avoid or Deal with the Criminal Justice System (PowerPoint or complete document)
- Mental Illness and Violence (YouTube video, PowerPoint PDF or Summary with references)
If you don’t see what you are looking for in this list, please try our search function.
Last updated in February 2020.