A mental health resource connection for families in Maine
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Taking Care of Yourself



Self care is one of the most important things that a family caregiver can do when someone they love has a mental illness.  Your important role requires stamina, perseverance, and inner strength. Caregivers need to be reminded that they deserve to live their lives too. Here are some simple and effective coping tips for you to consider.

I. Remember the four C’s!

1. You didn’t CAUSE the mental illness.

2. You can’t CURE the mental illness.

3. You can’t CONTROL the mental illness.

4. You can COPE with the mental illness.


II. Expectations

1.  Develop realistic expectations for your family member and yourself.

2.  Work towards accepting the illness and its challenging consequences.


III. Let go of the guilt

1.  Remember that no family is perfect.

2.  Whatever you did, or did not do, you did not cause your family member’s illness.


IV. Don’t forget about your own health

1.  Eat right, exercise, and stay healthy.

2.  Remember to  laugh, take walks and nurture yourself.


V. Create a support network

1.  Join a support group.  You’ll be amazed how great it is to make new friends who understand what you are going through.

2.  Accept all the help and support you can get.  Don’t be afraid to ask!


NAMI Maine offers support groups and an excellent Family to Family class throughout the state.  Visit www.namimaine.org for more information.

*Thank you to FAME for Families, Canada for permission to use information included in this section.



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"I was so worried about calling a 'hotline' for help.  But it was great to be able to talk to someone who knew what to do!"
- DB


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Family Hope is Maine's resource for finding mental health services. We do not endorse any one program or organization. Our mission is to connect you to options, saving you time and frustration.
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