Supporting a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use issue can take an emotional toll on your mental health and well-being.
Supporters often put their own needs last and although it seems like the right thing to do at the time, it can have detrimental consequences to your own health and wellness.
The written and video material in this section focuses on the topics of self-care. You are encouraged to give yourself permission to think about yourself and take care of yourself.
What is self-compassion? – Dr. Kirsten Neff
Learn what self-compassion is and the three components of self-compassion.
Dr. Kirsten Neff is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research and created a self-compassion scale to help measure this concept. She has written numerous books, has created meditation scripts for mindful self-compassion work and has a number of YouTube videos.
Are you a healthy caregiver? – Family Caregivers of BC (FCBC)
This 10-part questionnaire assesses how well you are taking care of your own needs.
Family Caregivers of BC is a B.C. government funded not-for-profit organization, which supports over one million people in B.C. who provide physical and/or emotional care to a family member, friend or neighbour.
Taking care of yourself - National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI is an American grass roots organization that is now the largest mental health organization in the U.S. While the information provided is from an American lens, they provide a lot of helpful information for those who are supporting a loved one with a mental illness.
What is self-care? fact sheet - Syracuse University
Learn what self-care is and what it is not. Sometimes, it can be helpful to understand a concept by knowing what it is not.
This fact sheet was adapted from Self-care: Essential information, Syracuse University.
Self-care fact sheet - Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Moving beyond stigma - CAMH
Read about the topic of stigma, and how to move past the stigma that you may experience in your supportive role.
CAMH is Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in its field.
Self-care - Family Huddle Newsletter
Self-care is the main topic in this 2019 edition of our newsletter for families and natural supporters who are supporting a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use.
Family Support Services (FSS) is a program within Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which supports families/friends who are helping a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use. The Family Huddle is the FSS quarterly newsletter.
Self-compassion - Family Huddle Newsletter
Self-compassion is the main topic in this 2022 edition of the newsletter for families and natural supporters of a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use.
Family Support Services (FSS) is a program in Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which supports families/friends who are helping a loved one with a mental illness and/or substance use. The Family Huddle is the FSS newsletter in which the program shares program information, events and group offerings.
Videos and voice recordings
The science of self-compassion - Kristin Neff
This video, presented by Talks at Google, presents theory and research on self-compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff, and discusses the research indicating that self-compassion is a more powerful and effective motivational tool than self-criticism. In this video, Dr. Neff teaches a brief self-compassion practice that can be used in daily life.
Self-compassion for caregivers – Kristin Neff
Caring for someone with mental illness part two - National Prescribing Service (NPS)
In this six-minute video, meet the mother of a 29-year-old woman with a mental illness. Caring for someone with psychosis is challenging, and can push the limits of a mother's love to the edge. We hear about her experiences and the support system she created to help other parents in the same situation.
NPS is an Australian independent, not-for-profit, consumer-centred organization.
Caregiver to caregiver: Mental health tips - NAMI
In this 19-minute video, you hear from ten family members about taking care of their own mental health while supporting their loved ones.
NAMI is an American grass roots organization and the largest mental health organization in the U.S.
Love what you do: Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition - Green Renaissance
This 10-minute film is about everyday people who share profound insights about life. It offers a time to reflect on the things that are important to you.
Green Renaissance is a production company started by are two filmmakers from South Africa. Green Renaissance works to spread positive stories that reflect the wonder of the world.