How can I find ways to support my loved one’s daily living activities? Can I hire a caregiver to come to my home and assist?

If you have not already, you will want to begin to investigate and become connected to the Community Behavioral Health Services support network in your or your loved one’s community. This network will guide you to resources in your community that include social, vocational, housing and other support programs. In general, comprehensive community services are available to people who qualify for disability income or other public assistance.  

The National Alliance for Caregiving offers an excellent resource, Circle of Care: A Guidebook for Mental Health Caregivers (see the section on Community Services, beginning on page 30). 

Additionally, you may wish to review the Psychosocial Treatments page of NAMI’s website.  Psychosocial treatments include different types of psychotherapy and social and vocational training, and aim to provide support, education and guidance to people with mental illness and their families. 

To find services in your community, contact your state or county behavioral health department or your local NAMI Affiliate.  To find your nearest NAMI Affiliate, click on your state through the Find Your Local NAMI menu. 

Additional resources include:

Supporting Living/Social Needs

Many community programs offer social and recreational activities to reduce the isolation, loneliness, and stigma that so often accompany mental illnesses.  Among them:

  • “Clubhouse” and “Consumer Run Drop-in Centers (CRDIs)”

“Clubhouses” and CRDIs provide a model of community mental health service that offers a support system for people living with serious mental illness, offering opportunities for friendship, work training and placement, educational opportunities in a single, caring and supported environment.  

 For a list of clubhouses and CRDIs in your area, contact your local NAMI Affiliate or community behavioral health service.  Additionally, you may wish to consult Clubhouse International that offers an online locator to find a program in your area.  

  • Peer Support Specialists

Peer support specialists are people who have been successful in the recovery process and who help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.

Peer support programs provide an opportunity for consumers who have achieved significant recovery to assist others in their recovery journeys. Peer specialists model recovery, teach skills and offer supports to help people experiencing mental health challenges lead meaningful lives in the community.  Conducting an internet search for “Mental Health Peer Recovery Center [insert location]” will often produce a list in your area.

For a list of peer support specialist programs in your area, contact your local NAMI Affiliate or community behavioral health service. The resources listed below can assist in locating a peer support specialist or recovery program in your area.  

  • NAMI Connection Support Group is a support group for people with mental health conditions. Groups meet weekly, every other week or monthly, depending on location. This program is also available in Spanish, NAMI Conexión.
  • National Empowerment Center, (800) 769-3728, is a peer-run organization dedicated to providing a message of recovery, empowerment, hope, and healing to those with lived mental health issues, trauma and/or extreme states. Provides information & resources, education and also a national directory of consumer-run statewide organizations providing a myriad of services (by community), including supported employment, drop-in centers, crisis prevention (WRAP)/respite, non-clinical in-person peer support programs, etc.  Spanish-speaking information specialists are available to callers.
  • National Mental Health Consumer’s Self-Help Clearinghouse is a nationwide directory to locate local consumer-driven mental health services, including resources such as Clubhouses, crisis prevention/respite services, drop-in centers, employment resources, housing, peer case management and support.  Maintains search function for directory of local CDS (consumer-driven services) through www.cdsdirectory.org.

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