When a friend or family member develops a mental health condition, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Family members and caregivers often play a large role in helping and supporting the millions of people in the U.S. who experience mental health conditions each year. Many family members and caregivers experience the same thoughts and questions you might be having now.

You may be trying to help a family member who doesn’t have access to care or doesn’t want help. Or you may want to learn how to support and encourage someone who has been hospitalized or experienced a similar mental health crisis.

We realize that the challenges of mental illness do not only affect an individual’s family members but also friends, teachers, neighbors, coworkers and others in the community. Here we use the terms family member and caregiver interchangeably to refer to someone giving emotional, financial or practical support to a person with a mental health condition. Whether you’re providing a lot of assistance or very little, the information here can help you better understand the issues that you might face.

Find Local Support from NAMI California

We offer free services for family members, including:

Sharing your experiences can help you and others.

More Resources from NAMI

Learning to Help a Child with a Mental Health Condition and Your Family

Maintaining a Health Relationship with Your Loved One with a Mental Health Condition

Being Prepared for a Loved One’s Mental Health Crisis

Calling 911 and Talking to Police About a Loved One with a Mental Health Condition

Handling the Arrest of a Family Member with a Mental Health Condition

Finding a Missing Loved One

Supporting the Mental Health Recovery of a Loved One

Taking Care of Yourself