Caring for someone who has mental health issues is not easy. You need to make sure that you do the right thing for the person you are caring for as well as taking care of your own needs.
It helps if you have a good understanding of mental health problems. There is education available that you can access; you can find more info about this. The following advice should also help to make your caring responsibilities a little easier. It deals with the steps that are involved with caring for someone who has problems with their mental health.
Identifying a mental health problem
One of the most important things that people often need help with is identifying that they have a mental health issue in the first place. There are several signs that this may be the case, including a lack of energy and problems sleeping. If you have any concerns about someone, you should make sure that they seek a diagnosis as soon as possible.
Talking about the diagnosis
Once there is a diagnosis of mental health problems in place, you need to discuss it with the person you are caring for. You need to talk about subjects such as what the diagnosis means for you both and what care the person will need. This helps you to establish what is realistically going to be expected of you.
Helping with medications
Often, a person who has problems with their mental health is treated using medications. In order to make sure that these medications are taken correctly, it helps if you have knowledge of them. This knowledge should include how and when they should be taken and any side effects that might occur.
Understanding what is happening with a person’s mental health
As a carer, you need to have a good understanding about what is happening with the mental health of the person you are caring for. In order to have this understanding you will need to take actions such as researching the specific problem, attending appointments with the person you are caring for, asking relevant questions at appointments and taking notes as appointments so that you can go through them later on.
Keeping a list of important information
One thing that is very important to any carer is good organisation. This includes keeping a list of any important information that you might need. This information can include details such as:
- Emergency telephone numbers.
- The medication that the person you are caring for is taking.
- Side effects associated with the person’s medication.
- Signs associated with a worsening of the person’s condition.
Having this information close to hand, in the form of an easy to read list, means that it’s easily accessible should you need it.
This advice should be of help to you in your role as a carer for someone who has a mental health problem. If you need any more assistance, you should consider looking at the support that is provided by Mental Health Carers Australia. This is a good place to look for advice and information.