National Family Caregiving Support Guidelines

The Mental Health Commission of Canada has released National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System to Support Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and Illnesses, June 2013. These guidelines seek to recognize and support family caregivers’ needs and provide evidence-based best practices and advice to policy makers and service providers. They also include 41 recommendations that are intended to improve a caregiver’s capacity to provide the best possible care to adults living with mental illness while maintaining their own wellbeing.

Louise Bradley, President of the Commission stated that “What is happening today is that we have people looking after people with mental illness and it is impacting their ability to go to work on a daily basis and at the end of the day it impacts their own mental health.” “It has a humanistic and economic fallout” Bradley said.

Bradley also stated that “Mental illness needs to be considered in the same vain as other health problems.” “If I’m at home caring for my mother that has cancer, that is more acceptable and people understand it in a way that is far different from saying I’m home because my mother is unable to get out of bed because she had an acute episode of major depression.”

Family Cargiver Guidelines