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Registration now open to artists and artisans for the
15th Annual Exhibition Sale - Art in Strathcona Park, Ottawa
visit MICA Ontario or click here
Updated April 2015
Families coping today with the challenges of a loved one living with a mental illness have more choices than ever in seeking help and accessing resources available on the Internet. To my mind, though, NAMI’s Family-to-Family Education Course is still the best one in bringing a vast amount of technical and medical information to families while at the same time helping them recognize and deal with their emotions. At the end of the 12-week course, families are better equipped to help their ill relative, they have gained understanding into their loved one’s illness and compassion. They have learned how to recognize signs of relapse and how to seek help when they need it. They have learned that they are not alone and they have made friends that last long after the classes have ended. This is not to say that moments of despair or feelings of hopelessness won’t resurface when things get tough, but having gone through the NAMI course, we are better able to cope overall. We have found peace of mind and are able to resume happy lives again, despite the turmoil that often inhabits our lives. If you are dealing with a relative with a mental illness, we urge you to seek the help and support that you need. If you live in an area where resources are scant, please reach out to us anyways… we can connect you to someone who can listen and be there for you.
Volunteers are still very active in trying to improve the lives of families who have a loved one with a mental illness. One such organization based in Ottawa is looking at the impact of mental illness on the quality of life of caregivers and has developed 7 priorities: family education and support; vocational training and employment; housing and recovery; listening to families; continued support after we’re gone; and physical and mental health of caregivers. Two Family Summits have been held to identify the issues and to seek volunteers to help; work has begun and is ongoing and an update will be provided at the 3rd Family Summit in the fall of 2015. For more information or to help with any of these projects, please visit MICA Ontario at www.micaontario.com (2nd Family Summit).
If you know of any wonderful initiatives to help families or individuals with a mental ilness, please let us know and we'll add it to our website!
Director, Family-to-Family Programs, Ontario, Canada
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org