When a friend or family member develops a mental health condition, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Family members and caregivers often play a large role in helping and supporting the millions of people in the U.S. who experience mental health conditions each year. Many family members and caregivers experience the same thoughts and questions you might be having now.
You may be trying to help a family member who doesn’t have access to care or doesn’t want help. Or you may want to learn how to support and encourage someone who has been hospitalized or experienced a similar mental health crisis.
We realize that the challenges of mental illness do not only affect an individual’s family members but also friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers and others in the community. Here we use the terms family member and caregiver interchangeably to refer to someone giving emotional, financial or practical support to a person with a mental health condition. Whether you’re providing a lot of assistance or very little, the information here can help you better understand the issues that you might face.
Local Support from NAMI California
We offer free services for family members, including:
- Family-to-Family Classes: our free, 8-week long/8-class education program for family members of adults living with mental health conditions
- Family Support Groups: our free, confidential support groups
- Family Basics Class: our free class for parents and caregivers of youth (ages 22 and younger)
Sharing your experiences in a safe and confidential setting can help you and others.
Resources for those Caring for and Supporting Your Loved One
- Writing a One-Page Mental Health History of Someone with a Mental Health Condition
- Helping Someone With a Mood Disorder
- Information on Medications for Mental Health Conditions
- Finding Local Mental Health Providers
- When a Loved One Goes Missing
- Mental Health Parity: Know Your Rights
- Suicide Prevention Guide
Resources for Parents
Our Parents Guide