Circles of Support for Mental Illness
December 3, 2012
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Lee Helmer directs a peer-led organization, T.E.A.C.H., (Teach, Empower, Advocate for Community Health), in Halton Region, Ontario, Canada. He describes his own experience with family caregiving and his own mental and brain health challenges. He outlines the mental health conditions that T.E.A.C.H. helps with, explains the help needed and provided for these conditions, and describes the groups that are helped. He explains the challenges created by the conditions for persons and their family caregivers, and the consequences for them all if their challenges are not effectively helped. He explains the purposes of the help that T.E.A.C.H. provides, and gives examples. He says what more help he would like to see provided by the healthcare and social-services systems to persons and their family caregivers confronted by their challenges. He shares his message for healthcare and social-service professionals and his message of hope for family caregivers and their family members.
Family Caregivers Unite!
Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel
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.