NAMI-Yolo - a chapter of NAMI, the Nation's Voice on Mental Illness
Home   www.namiyolo.org

Email friends@namiyolo.org

Who We Are
Events Calendar
Contact Us
Become a NAMI-Yolo member
Donations
Email List
Crisis Resources
Crisis Toolkit
Getting Help / Preventing Suicide
Education
Family-to-Family
Peer-to-Peer Course
Bookstore
ABC's: Psychiatric Acronyms
Support
Family Support
Mental Health Client Support
NAMI-Yolo Helpline
Bereavement Resources
Express Yourself
Local  Resources
CAN-Do Programs
Housing
Food
Emergency Housing
Hospitals
Living on a Shoestring
What to do if arrested
Advocacy
Mental Health-related Legislation, local issues etc.
   Federal
   California
   Yolo County
   Local Mental Health Board
Helpful Tips for Families
Mental Health Roadmap
Yolo Co. Mental Health Services
Yolo Co. Mental Health Problem Resolution Process
Communication Tips
Helpful Tips for Families
Guidelines for Families
Family Rights
Siblings / Adult Children
Other Sites
Organizations
Children
Disorders
Law/Criminal Justice
Helpful Tips
Treatments
Miscellaneous
Member's Corner
Newsletter / Brochure
Volunteer Opportunities
 

GUIDELINES FOR FAMILIES
by Dr. Christopher S. Amenson

What You Can Do

  1. Keep the family strong.
    Keep yourselves happy and healthy. Take care of each other and encourage each other.

  2. Support the one who has psychotic symptoms.
    Love and accept him as he is now (or her as she is now)
    Help him or her find good treatment. Provide a healing family atmosphere.

How to Create a Healing Family Atmosphere

  1. Love and accept the person who has psychotic symptoms as he or she is now, ill. Don't expect him or her to feel and act well all the time.
  2. Blame the illness, not the person, for the symptoms. It is not deliberate misbehavior.
  3. Set realistic, reachable goals.
  4. Include the person who has psychotic symptoms in the family.
  5. Keep a loving distance. Be close, but not too close.
  6. Keep a calm atmosphere without expressing emotions

FAMlLY COMMUNICATION SKILLS

  1. To get a person to do more of something, make a positive request:
       -  Look at the person.
       -  Tell them the good feeling it would give you if they did what you want.
       -  Say exactly what you would like them to do.
       Examples:
              I would like you to_________________
              I would really appreciate it if you would__________________
              It would make me feel good if you would___________
              It's very important to me that you help me with the_____
  2. To get a person to do less of something, express negative feelings calmly.
        -  Look at the person. Speak firmly.
        -  Say exactly what you want to have the person stop doing.
        -  Tell them the bad feeling you get when they do the thing you don't like.
        -  Suggest how they might keep this from happening in the future.
       Examples:
       It makes me very sad when you sleep until noon. Please get up at 11:00 AM.
       It makes me very anxious when you yell at me. Please sit down with me and tell me calmly
  3. Handle only one thing per session.
        Do not mix praise and criticism, as in
        "Thanks for washing the dishes, but there is still egg on the forks".
  4. Set limits to head off serious problems.
       -   Be clear and specific about what is unacceptable.
       -   Remain calm but firm.
      Example:
           You can not live at home unless you take your medicine.