Additional thoughts on mental health care
A huge thank you to Sarah Stoy for her May 19 opinion piece on stigma and mental health. Her perspective on the emotional effects of life during COVID-19 rang true for me and I'm sure for others.
I would offer two additional options for those struggling in this area. First, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is all about dispelling the stigma of mental illness, and has been such a huge help to my family that my husband is now a speaker for them, as a consumer of mental health services.
Second, as a care partner for several family members with mental illness, I would emphasize the need for self care.
We who care for others with any form of physical or mental illness often neglect our own emotional needs and tend to deny, hide or simply fail to recognize our own emotional struggles.
We don't always notice that what we call "stress" may actually be depression from seeing our loved ones struggle and feeling unsure of how to help them. I urge all care partners to seek counseling for themselves, even if just for perspective and encouragement.