Role of the family

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: As families, we live our lives together, coming to have deeply privileged knowledge of each other in all its richness. We journey together with aspirations for our present and future lives together; we watch our children grow; we fall in love and make commitments to each other. Our lives together are rich and nuanced. When mental illness enters our lives, it is but one aspect of our knowledge of the people we know as our family member with a mental illness.
Objectives: To describe the ways that mental health carers strive for recognition of ‘the person’ despite mental illness and its impacts and explain the importance of the knowledge that family members can bring to mental healthcare that helps promote mental health recovery.
Methods: Recounting personal experiences and ways of living our lives with quality in mind so that we do not let mental illness dominate our family relationships.
Findings: Recovery work is present in the small everyday ways that we live our lives together. This offers important knowledge for mental health professionals to understand the person with mental illness in ways that are significant, yet largely ignored.
Conclusions: Collaborative inclusion of family carers in the care team is an opportunity to enhance recovery-based practice. It helps the psychiatrist to relate to and engage the person better; it enhances outcomes; and it helps minimize family carers’ sense of burden that can interfere with the family supports that are essential to recovery from mental illness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Early online date26 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventSpeaking our minds. Telling our stories. RANZCP Congress 2017 -
Duration: 30 Apr 2017 → …


  • mental illness
  • family care
  • family carers
  • Mental health care


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of the family'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this