Support Group Meetings
Support Group for Caregivers of a person with Mental Illness 2nd Thursday of each month starting August 11, 2011
Where: Emmanuel Baptist Church
809 Springdale Drive, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47129
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Support groups are essential building blocks: it is important to share information about mental illness and to understand that serious, long-term mental illness is not caused by the family. Many doctors do not explain the symptoms and characteristics of the various mental illnesses, and the family is left to do their own research. Although a doctor may carefully explain a blockage in an artery, many doctors are not so likely to carefully explain biochemical malfunctions of the brain. "We thought it was our fault," is said by families far too often. Traumatized families then become even further traumatized.
Even your own extended family members, because of their lack of knowledge and information, may not be able to provide the support you need. Unless you have lived with an ill family member, it is difficult for most people to understand the everyday trials and concerns of families with a mentally ill member, and somehow it is comforting to know that other people deal with almost exactly the same issues and understand. And sometimes they have suggestions and answers! And sometimes they can only say, "Yes, I know." And they do.
In support groups, information is shared about housing, about sleeping and eating problems, about social services and medications, about children's lack of friends and their loneliness, about your own grief and loss, and the need for support and respite.
Many people drop into support groups for a few months and get some answers and support for the hard times, and then move on. That's fine. Other people may move from support groups into committee work. That's fine. Often people make lifelong friends. Many people say, "I want to help. I don't want other people to go through what I went through.