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Self-care for caregivers of people with mental health issues

What to look out for if you are a caregiver to someone with a mental health condition.

Caregiving Hotlines Tips

Self care
Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

You are just as important as your loved ones. Supporting someone with a mental illness is a responsibility that requires a lot of energy — physically, emotionally and mentally. If it gets too overwhelming, you risk developing caregiver burnout or a health condition yourself too.

It is important for people who are supporting others to look after themselves. Only when you take care of yourself can you be in a good position to help others.

We have compiled this resource using online materials shared by professional and expert groups (full list below). The resources on these pages are meant to be educational, and should not be taken as medical advice. If you suspect you have a mental health concern, seek help from professionals before taking any action.  

Tips to prevent caregiver burnout

  • Health is wealth — Take care of your health by eating and sleeping well, and exercising regularly.

  • Make time for yourself — Take time off to do things you enjoy and recharge, and maintain social relations 

  • It’s okay to feel frustrated, confused, guilty or stressed. Acknowledge that these are normal responses, and it is part of a journey that is beyond your control.  

  • Be kind to yourself — Celebrate small victories and be proud of your efforts.

  • Divide and conquer — Ask for help with smaller chores like running errands or household chores 

  • Don’t bottle up — Share how you feel with your loved one or join a support group. And it is okay to seek professional help such as a counsellor — if the stress gets overwhelming.  

Self-care for caregivers of people with mental health issues

Singapore

  • Helplines

    Caregiver Association Of Mentally Ill (CAMI)

    Provides support for caregivers taking care of loved ones with mental illness.
    Tel: 6782 9371 | Mon - Fri, 8.30am to 5.30pm

  • AWWA Centre for Caregivers
    Provides information, training and support for caregivers.
    Tel: 1800 299 2992 | Mon - Fri, 8.30am to 5.30pm

  • TOUCH Care Line
    Provides information and referral services for caregivers.
    Tel: 6804 6555 | Mon - Sat, 9am to 9pm

  • SAGE Helpline for Seniors
    Provides counselling with a focus on the psychological and social health of seniors and their caregivers
    Tel: 1800 555 5555 | Mon- Fri, 9am to 7pm | Sat, 9am to 1pm

Support groups

Caregiver training 

Further reading:


Malaysia

Support groups and caregiver training

Malaysia Mental Health Association (MMHA) 

Support Groups

Baguio Mental Health Support Group

Caregiver Training

In Touch Community Services Training 


India 

Support Groups

The Bhor Foundation —  The Listening Circle (Delhi and Bangalore)


Want to know more? Here are the articles we referenced to compile this resource: 

Looking after yourself

Self-Care Tips

Support for Individuals and Caregivers

Caregivers 

Resource Directory on Mental Health Services in Singapore

Master List of Hotlines and Mental Health Resources in the Philippines
 

Contributors

Writer

Lynn Chan

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