What is a caregiver
The simplest definition of a caregiver is someone who provides unpaid support to another person. While we tend to think of caregivers as only parents, anyone can be a caregiver – children, siblings, spouses and even friends.
Your journey as a caregiver
Your journey as a caregiver probably began when you started to observe your loved one displaying some of the signs and symptoms of mental illness. You may have noticed that there were changes in their thoughts, behaviours or emotions that negatively impacted their ability to function and cope with their everyday life.
You felt compelled to help, and suddenly you were thrust into a role that you weren’t expecting, weren’t prepared for and one that can seem to be overwhelming. You are now a researcher, advocate, case manager, record keeper, navigator, counsellor and healthcare provider.
While we feel rewarded helping someone we care about, the reality is that caregivers often feel isolated and overwhelmed because supporting someone struggling with a mental illness requires a level of knowledge, compassion and understanding that most of us simply aren’t familiar with. It is important to know that you aren’t alone on this roller coaster journey.
While every caregiver’s experience is unique, your concerns, challenges, questions and feelings are similar to what others have gone through and are going through.
Resources to help caregivers
We have developed resources that are specifically targeted to help caregivers survive the roller coaster that they find themselves on. Information related to mental illness, how to support your loved one and most importantly (and most often overlooked) how to take care of yourself and make your well being a priority.
Whether the assistance you provide your loved one is a lot or a little, the information here will help you to better understand the issues and provide you with tools to help support you and your loved one throughout this journey. Welcome!