How Mental Health Professionals Can Prepare A Family For Caregiving
When a loved one has a mental health crisis for the first time, it is usually being dealt with in an emergency room. The people handling these kinds of situations are busy health care professionals trying to convey information to scared family members. And that is usually how everyone involved feels; scared. Mental health is a subject that is hardly more than a loud whisper in our society right now. Mental health professionals are usually trying to overcome the obstacle of misconception when they are explaining a diagnosis to a patient and their loved ones.
Mention the word schizophrenia to someone and watch to see what their reaction is. That is typically the starting point most mental health professionals are dealing with when it comes to starting the conversation of family caregiving to the loved ones who are now in charge of their loved one’s newfound diagnosis of mental health issues.
Most people wouldn’t consider inviting a stranger into their home with a mental health condition to live for a prolonged period of time. In a sense, when someone’s loved one has a mental health crisis that ends up being a permanent condition, that is exactly what it feels like. The one they once knew and loved is a different person now; someone who needs daily care, and supervision around medication. They become the primary coordinator of therapy, appointments and the guardian over what happens to their loved one next. It’s a lot of responsibility to throw at someone. The next question most family caregivers of mental health patients have is, “so now what?”
Mental Health Professionals Need To Provide Good Resources To Family Caregivers
Most family caregivers of mental health patients want to arm themselves with information around the condition and what to expect from someone who has the specific diagnosis they now need to deal with; give it to them. Invite them to check out some great websites for information and support. Most people are doing all their research on the Internet anyway so give them the right places to go for the best information available. It might be helpful to type out a sheet of resources to hand out to family caregivers when you are having the “new diagnosis” conversation with loved ones.
Secondly, they need to know who to call if something goes wrong or their loved one seems to be decompensating, doesn’t want to take their medication or seems physically unsafe to themselves or others. Let them know who to call and when it’s okay to call for help. Providing information around support groups for family caregivers is also another way to help. Find out about support groups in your area and make sure your family caregivers know where to go if they want to.
LISTEN!! Family caregivers need to know you care about them and the new changes in their lives, as well as the patients. This is life changing for them too. Make sure they have an ear and answer their questions in a way that makes them feel heard.
Providing A Safe Place To Collaborate With Mental Health Professionals For The Family
So much information about how the patient is really doing after discharge is going to come from observant family members involved in caring for someone with a new mental health diagnosis. Up until now, that information was largely only given at patient appointments or through frantic phone calls from family caregivers who are alarmed that something may be wrong with the patient. Real-time collaboration can solve it all; now there is a way.
eCare Vault is the first secure, cloud-based platform of its kind specifically designed for the collaboration of care between mental health professionals, family caregivers, and even the patient. Information can be shared and commented on, notes can be written for anyone on the care team to share thoughts and ideas, the possibilities for collaboration around patient care are endless. If you want your family caregivers to be able to do more for you as a mental health professional then eCare Vault is the choice for your practice. Find out more about eCare Vault today and put confidence and collaboration at the forefront of patient care.