Helping family caregivers when there’s mental Illness in the family
January 10, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Ella Amir is Executive Director of AMI-Québec. Jean Claude Benitah is Vice-President, Board member, Chairman of the Political Action Committee, and Member of the Strategic Planning Committee of AMI-Québec. They talk about their involvement with family caregivers and family caregiving in families with a member with mental illness. They explain AMI-Québec’s history, mission and services. They describe the help that family caregivers seek, and the challenges that mental illnesses create for family caregivers, and the need for family caregiver support after a family member is discharged from hospital. They describe the challenges that arise in their work and give examples of successes and hope brought by the services provided by AMI-Québec. They say what more they would like to see done to bring more help to family caregivers caring for family members with mental illnesses. They each share their messages to family caregivers caring for a family member with mental illness.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.