Helping Canadians Live with Mental Illness
Family Recovery Journey
Family Recovery Journey is more than education.
It’s about strengthening family members and loved ones of individuals with mental illness by providing support, awareness, and tools. Tools such as problem solving, coping, communication skills, advocacy, and the know-how to join in and/or develop their own local support group.
This program gives families the real scoop about mental illness, treatment options, causes, research, and services available in the hopes of diminishing the stigma attached to diagnosis. Families have an opportunity to discuss the daily challenges they face and connect with others who share similar experiences.
Families meet weekly for 2 hours for up to 5 sessions.
Your Recovery Journey
MEANING, MANAGEMENT, AND MEDICATION
Your Recovery Journey is based on the experiences of people who have a mental illness and who know there is hope, who are well and doing the things they want with their lives.
The program is designed for any person with mental illness who would like to find support, build new life skills and explore different aspects of recovery. Using a variety of formats, including presentation, interactive exercises, and structured activities, the program guides participants towards their goals of establishing and maintaining wellness.
Who can participate?
The program is for all people who have had experience with mental illness, regardless of their diagnosis or their stage of recovery. Different mental illnesses have different symptoms, courses of illness, and treatments – but the recovery journey cuts across all of these.
Who are the leaders?
The program is designed to be facilitated or co-facilitated by people who themselves have experience with mental illness and have also experienced recovery in their own lives. This “hope in action” approach is a fundamental principle of the program.
What is covered?
This program aims to increase your ability to meet your personal recovery goals by exploring the many aspects of recovery, sharing knowledge and tools to help you take responsibility for your wellness and stability, and introducing a variety of self-help techniques so you can manage and reduce symptoms.
In addition, Your Recovery Journey teaches you how to use medication effectively, plan your own personal recovery journey, and find effective ways to reach out for and use the support of family members, friends, and service providers.
Where is it offered?
We primarily offer the program in-person in Penticton, and occasionally offer it online. The program material for Your Recovery Journey is available through the Schizophrenia Society of Canada but its use is not limited to SSC affiliates. We welcome mental health partners such as early-intervention clinics, in-patient and out-patient programs, PACT teams and self-help organizations to offer the program and use the materials we’ve provided. (SSC; www.schizophrenia.ca)
What does it cost?
Your Recovery Journey is free for people who experience mental illness. You do not need to be a member of the Schizophrenia Society to participate in the program. Come learn more about recovery and how you can live beyond mental illness!
Teens in Control
Teens in Control offers education and support to youth between the ages of 13 and 18 years who have a close family member with mental illness. During the sessions they are given information about mental illness as well as an opportunity to develop and practice healthy coping strategies for dealing with difficulties they may be facing. Using crafts, games and interactive learning activities, members join together in developing healthy attitudes and coping skills.
Kids in Control
Kids in Control offers education and support to children between the ages of 8 to 13 years who have a parent with a mental illness. Once a week for eight consecutive weeks the kids meet for 1.5 hours. During the sessions they are given information about mental illness as well as an opportunity to develop and practice healthy coping strategies for dealing with difficulties they may be facing. Using crafts, games and interactive learning activities, children have an opportunity to join together in developing healthy attitudes and coping skills. Upon completion, kids are invited to attend reunion meetings for ongoing support.
OUTLINE OF THE PROGRAM
- Session 1: Group building and story telling
- Session 2: Group building and learning to identify feelings
- Session 3: Learning about healthy boundaries and how to communicate feelings
- Session 4: Learning about mental illness
- Session 5: Learning about the treatment of mental illness
- Session 6: Developing resiliency
- Session 7: Societal attitudes and stigma
- Session 8: Self-care and self-esteem
Why a program for children?
Challenges that families face when one member has a mental illness can be huge and at times overwhelming. Imagine what it must be like to be dependent upon a parent who is actively psychotic, paranoid, or so deeply depressed they can’t get out of bed. What must it be like to live with a parent with uncontrolled manic swings, who is grandiose and full of energy one minute and in the next minutes, in an uncontrollable rage?
Children who have a parent with a mental illness face a number of burdens, discomforts, responsibilities and fears. Their lives can be shattered by unpredictable episodes of bizarre and disruptive behaviors and be prolonged periods of separation as a result of hospitalization or apprehension by child protection workers.
Kids may be at risk emotionally as a result of their parent’s negative mood, their lack of availability and possible family conflict. The consequences are extensive and can result in neglect, abuse, academic difficulties, poor peer interactions, confusion and inadequate coping skills.
Feedback from youth who have taken Teens in Control or Kids in Control has revealed several aspects of the program that are helpful:
- Youth routinely comment that learning about mental illnesses has helped allay their fears in that “somehow it didn’t seem as bad”
- Learning how to deal with stigma and helping children resist messages of self-blame and responsibility are other important topics
- Facilitators are continually amazed at the level of sharing and the intensity of participation by the kids
For more information or to register for one of our upcoming programs, please contact us today using the form below, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (250) 493-7338!