Families for Depression Awareness
For Mental Health Awareness Month, Families for Depression Awareness has launched #YouCareHelpShare, a campaign to provide education and encouragement to family caregivers. Through the distribution of caregiver education materials and a social media awareness campaign, we aim to help caregivers all across the U.S. get the support, information, and resources they need to be effective partners in care.
The importance of caregivers
Caregivers of people with depression or bipolar disorder play a crucial role in their loved ones’ lives.
Parents, spouses, siblings, and other close connections are pivotal in recognizing a problem, accessing care, and lending support. Caregivers are often the first to notice when their loved one isn’t doing well. They are invested in helping their loved one to get well and will work to access resources and care. Family members are also in the strongest position to step in if their loved one needs help in their everyday life.
Caregivers often struggle with understanding mood disorders and knowing how to be a partner in treatment. Although family caregivers spend an average of nearly 32 hours a week assisting their loved ones, they sometimes struggle with understanding depression and bipolar disorder, how they can support treatment, and how to navigate the healthcare system.
With education and support, family caregivers can have a major impact on their loved one’s well-being. For example, in a recent study, teens (participants aged 13-17) with previous hospitalizations for suicide attempts who elected to have caring adults receive education and support were more likely to be alive 11 to 14 years later than those who did not.
Caregiver Care Packages
In addition to support, family caregivers need educational resources. Not everyone has ready access to the information and actionable advice that will help them provide constructive support to their loved ones living with depression or bipolar disorder. Our #YouCareHelpShare campaign underwrites distribution of these Caregiver Care Packages to families through military installations and community health centers.
Our Caregiver Care Packages, delivered in a reusable tote bag, include
- our new 56-page Helping Someone Living with Depression or Bipolar Disorder handbook
- our Adult Depression Wellness Guide
- our Working Together Toward Wellness brochures with stories of families living with depression and bipolar disorder
- our Coping with Stress brochure
- a magnet with an inspirational message for caregivers
- a letter of encouragement from a Families for Depression Awareness volunteer
- acknowledgement of donations in honor or in memory of a loved one, or the name of the donor, if they desire
How you can help
We’ve designed the #YouCareHelpShare campaign to make it easy to spread the word about how important caregiver education is for families affected by mood disorders. Here are ways to be involved.
- Download our social media kit and share information about the You Care, Help Share campaign with friends and family.
- Donate $30 for each Caregiver Care Package to send to families who need free resources. A portion of this donation supports our ongoing work.
- Host a fundraiser online or in your community to support our mission and distribute more care packages.
- Follow our campaign calendar and engage in the coordinated activities.
- Share your stories about mental health and caregiving on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #YouCareHelpShare.
Families for Depression Awareness is the nation’s premier organization providing caregiver education on depression and bipolar disorder. Check out our website at familyaware.org to find psychoeducation, inspiring family stories, expert interviews, free webinars available 24/7 for your convenience, online tools (including a free and anonymous depression and bipolar disorder screening tool), and practical, actionable advice about providing constructive support to your loved one with bipolar disorder or depression.
Help support those families who need these resources by participating in the #YouCareHelpShare campaign.
What do you think?
What advice would have been helpful to you in providing support to a person living with depression or bipolar disorder?
If you live with depression or bipolar disorder, what do you think caregivers should know?
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On Care for Your Mind
What Can We Do for Caregivers?
How to Help a Loved One Living with a Mood Disorder: The FFDA Action Plan
Depression Treatment in Primary Care: Tips for Caregivers
Psychiatric Advance Directives: A Must-Have for Us
Keeping Our Loved Ones Safe and Getting Them Well
How-To Videos for Caregivers: Making a Family Action Plan and Common Issues When a PCP Treats Depression
Supporting a Loved One Living with Bipolar Disorder
Miklowitz, D., The Role of the Family in the Course and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
10 Self-Support Tips for Caregivers of People with Bipolar [Disorder]
Caregiving for Depression and Anxiety
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