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Navigating Mental Illness

h3NavigatingMentalIllnessh3pBertandPattiNewtonhavethrownthespotlightonthedistressconfusionandgriefthatfamiliesexperiencewhensomeonersquosbehaviourislsquonotquiterightrsquoandbecomesacauseofdistressandconcern.ThequestionsseemendlessIsthisjustaphaseoranonoffCoulditbementalillnessCoulditbedrugsCouldwehavedonesomethingtopreventthishappeningHowcanwehelpthemgetwellnowHowcanwelookaftereachotherbrbrlsquoThesequestionsareverycommonrsquosaystheExecutiveDirectorofSANEAustraliaBarbaraHocking.lsquoGettinganaccuratediagnosisandtreatmentplanisoftencomplexcantaketimeandneedsskilledclinicians.Howeverthereismuchthatfamilymembersandclosefriendscandotobecomebetterinformedandtohelpguidethemthroughthementalillnessmaze.rsquobrbrMsHockingsaysthataccurateinformationaboutearlysignsofmentalillnessisessentialasistheknowledgethatyoursquorenotalonendashthereareotherswhoreallyunderstandwhatyouaregoingthrough.brbrTheSANEHelplinendash180018SANE7263ndashisanationalFreecalltelephoneandonlineHelpline.EachdaytheHelplinetakescallsfrompeopleconcernedabouttheirownmentalhealthorthatofafamilymemberorclosefriend.brbrlsquoOftentherehasbeennodiagnosisandpeopleareseekinginformationadviceandencouragementtotakethefirstandmostimportantstepofcontactingaGPforanassessmentdiagnosisandtreatmentplanrsquoMsHockingexplains.lsquoForothershelpisneededforsomeonewhohasbecomeunwellagain.rsquobrbrTheHelplineprovidescallerswithaccurateinformationaboutmentalillnessaswellasadviceandreferraltoorganisationsforsuchthingsashousingrecoveryprogramssupportandeducation.brbrMentalillnessiscommonbutisalsotreatablesogettinghelpandsupportearlyisimportant.brlsquoWithtreatmentmostpeoplecanmanagetheirsymptomswellandbeabletoleadasatisfyinglifersquoMsHockingsays.brbrTheSANEHelplinecanhelpanyoneconcernedaboutanymentalillnessincludingpsychoticillnessessuchasschizophreniaorbipolardisorder.brThenationalmentalhealthcharityhasdevelopedfactsheetspodcastspamphletsSANEGuidesandDVDresourcestohelppeoplewithmentalillnessandfamiliesatallstages.Thesecanbedownloadedfromarelnofollowhrefhttpwww.sane.orgtargetblankwww.sane.orgabrbrSomethingisnotquiterightisavailableasafactsheetpodcastorpamphletandoutlinestheearlysignsofmentalillnesswhenthereiscauseforconcernandspecialisthelpisneeded.ItsuggestsyouencouragesomeonetoseeadoctorwhentheirbehaviourisdifferentfromusualndashforexampleiftheypliStoptalkingtoandwithdrawfromfamilyandfriendsliliBecomeafraidorsuspiciousfornoreasonliliSleeppoorlyorstayawakeallnightliliDevelopstrangeideasorfeeltheyhavespecialpowersliliHearvoicesnooneelsecanhearliliHavedifficultyconcentratingliliSayorwritethingsthatdonrsquotmakesenseorliliAbusedrugsoralcohol.brbrForinformationadviceandreferralonmentalillnesscontacttheSANEHelplineon180018SANE7263oronlineviaarelnofollowhrefhttpwww.sane.orgtargetblankwww.sane.orgabrbrli


 

 
 



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