A new report coordinated by several mental health organizations has found that most family members caring for an adult with mental illness say they cannot get the support they need for their loved one. They also feel stigmatized by association with mental illness and therefore unable to reach out for support.
Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the National Alliance for Caregiving worked together to create the report.
Some verbatim findings from the article:
- "Families whose loved one had found an accurate diagnosis reported that it took 11.8 years, on average, to get there."
- "Fewer than four in ten caregivers (37%) reported that their loved one’s medication was effective in providing the help they need."
- "A majority of caregivers (55%) reported that they were included less than they felt they should have been in care conversations with their loved one’s providers."
- "Nearly half (48%) of caregivers said it was difficult to talk with others about their loved one’s mental or emotional health issues."
According to NAMI Executive Director Mary Giliberti, the report "reveals...one more example of the inequality between mental illness and other health conditions." In response to these disparities, the study recommends "providing greater access to high-quality healthcare services and assistance with care coordination," as well as more efforts to "include caregivers as part of the care team" for their loved ones.