Families and Parents
    Possibly the most neglected aspect in the care of those with mental illness or
chemical dependency is that of family support.  This is unfortunate since the
family represents some of the greatest potential for support.  Additionally, the
family often struggles as they try to find solutions.  The family feels pain and
frustration as they watch their loved ones suffer.  Frequently, it can be very
challenging to find the resources for help and guidance.

     To make matters worse, it becomes difficult for families to reach out and get
help they need.  Families often say to themselves that they aren’t the ones in need
of help.  “Help the patient and everything will be OK,” failing to see the impact
upon their own lives.  This thought lessens the opportunities to develop the skills
necessary to aid their loved one when they are needed most.  For households
impacted by chemical abuse or mental illness, it is quite normal to have developed
defenses and behaviors that can turn out to be counterproductive. Taking the time
to examine communication styles and interactions can be highly advantageous to
everyone in the family.
    Whether your loved one is currently active in your life or not, it can always be
beneficial to develop skills to cope.