It’s good to have a crisis plan in place so that caregivers would be more prepared and focused when their loved ones suffer a relapse. In a crisis, the rational part of our brain can be overwhelmed by our emotional part of our brain. This makes it hard for us to think or communicate clearly about what we need at that moment. A crisis safety plan relates to what we need to do during a mental health emergency. Do note that the crisis plan should be consultative and made in collaboration with your loved one.posted in Mental Health
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RE: How do caregivers overcome their anxieties when the person they are caring for get a relapse from their recovery?
RE: How difficult is it to become a caregiver in an environment that considers mental illness taboos and belittles caregiver?Caregivers are an important but often neglected group in our society. The challenges that those with mental health issues face are also borne by their caregivers, including difficulties such as the lack of awareness of their plight and the stigma against mental health. The caregivers in our midst are ‘hidden heroes’, as they resolutely support their loved ones and serve as a pillar of support to them. It is a labour of love for caregivers. Without caregivers, persons with mental health issues would not have the same quality care and support that they need in their recovery journeys. Nevertheless, caring for persons with mental health issues is not easy, and caregivers can be prone to breakdowns as well. They need support as well.posted in Mental Health
RE: How do we avoid caregiver burnout? How can we help manage caregiver stress?Caregivers will always worry for their loved ones. Thus, it’s very important for caregivers to practice self-care and be mindful of their own mental and physical health. Find and make time to self-care for caregivers’ own needs. They shouldn’t take their own health for granted. To be an effective caregiver, they must make a conscious effort to take care of themselves first so that they can better care for their loved ones. It may sound selfish, but if the caregiver is down physically and mentally, what will happen to the caring for their loved ones? So, caregivers, please find the little pleasures that you enjoy. Don’t feel guilty for having little pockets of me-time to yourself. You are helping your loved one by taking good care of yourself as well. Caregivers can consider attending caregiver training so that they can better support their loved ones. Don’t be shy to seek help. We have to start somewhere to better care for our loved ones. Do reach out to organisations like Caregivers Alliance Limited (www.cal.org.sg) for support – CAL provides emotional support and caregiver training at no cost to caregivers residing in Singapore.posted in Mental Health
RE: How can I support my friend who is a caregiver?It's tough and challenging being a caregiver of any kind, even more so when you are a caregiver for a person with mental health issues and do not have a proper support network. As a friend, you can support by being present and encourage the caregiver, especially when the going gets tough – show sincere care and concern. Do so without being judgemental. Be a safe listening ear for the caregiver to share their frustrations and concerns. Do not discount their feelings. There’s no solution for everything, thus, please help to remind the caregiver to recall the days before their loved one was diagnosed with mental illness. For caregiver who do not wish to say anything, do not force them to verbalise their concerns and frustrations. Just sit beside them – your presence is a source of comfort for them. If you are close enough, offer a reassuring touch so that they know that they are not alone in their caregiving journey – you are there for them.posted in Mental Health