How To Support a Loved One with Mental Illness

In This Article:

If you need help,
we’re here for you.
Contact us today.

Get Help

100% Confidential
Pasadena Villa
Locations & Programs
Smoky Mountain Lodge
(Sevierville, TN)
Intensive Residential Treatment and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
The Villa Orlando
(Orlando, FL)
Intensive Residential Treatment and PHP
The Stables Autism Program
(Sevierville, TN)
Intensive Residential Treatment

Families and significant others must sway their focus from “dealing” with a mentally ill loved one to supporting them. There’s a difference. Supporting someone is about providing them with a positive environment that promotes control, understanding and emotional well-being. According to, PyschCentral you must be willing to take a few extra steps.

Educate yourself about the disorder/illness

Research shows that education works. Reduction in symptoms, hospitalization days and relapsing has been observed in individuals whose families were provided with education and involvement in their treatment. Families educated about their loved one’s illnesses are less prone to misconceptions and begin to grasp effective ways to deal with symptoms sooner. Know what you’re dealing with.

Become involved

Seek out external resources and get involved in socio-political movements and support groups all relating to your loved one’s illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is a great resource that helps and educates families about mental health nationwide. Empower yourself and show your loved one you really care by taking a stand for their betterment. The best way to do this is by getting involved in their treatment. Demand to be included in treatment team meetings and case discussions. Let the professionals who serve your loved one know that you demand updates on changes and progress.

Set appropriate limits while allowing your loved one to have control

Your loved one has a life. In many cases, they simply feel they’ve lost control of it. Respect their decisions, even when some seem unreasonable. Don’t stress minor hiccups or decisions you differ in opinion with. Allow them to make mistakes, and allow them to correct these mistakes on their own. Asking them if they’ve taken their meds every day can get intrusive and often goes unappreciated. Even when dealing with these difficult situations, giving them options is a better method of support. Instead of threatening them into compliance, give them options to choose from. It’s good to let them know what line not to cross, but to also let them know they’re the ones in control of crossing it.

Have the right mind frame

It’s not your fault. It’s not their fault. Blame is not permitted here. Understanding is the key to emotional support. Recognize your loved one’s courage. They are attempting to live a normal life after hospitalization or psychiatric treatment. It isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Be part of their solution.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-574-5190 for more information.



If you’re ready to start your recovery, we’re here to help.

Contact us today.

Our treatment centers accept private payment, out-of-network benefits, and in-network benefits.

Our Admissions Team is available at 407.574.5190 to discuss your payment options.

Recent Posts

If you’re ready to take the next step in the recovery process for you or your loved one, the compassionate team at Pasadena Villa is here to help. Give us a call at 407.574.5190 or complete our contact form.

Looking for treatment?

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Get exclusive resources, find inspiration, and grow alongside us. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter now!