I’m worried that a loved one might be having a problem with mental health. What can I do?
Start by educating yourself on mental health conditions and find out about warning signs. While there is a lot of stigma around the subject of mental health, it’s important to address it; early intervention for mental health conditions provides the person with the best chance of recovery. We also have a guide for caregivers that can help.
How can I talk to my kids about mental health?
You can start by explaining that mental health is brain health. The brain is an organ in the body, just like the heart or lungs or kidneys. When people have heart problems, they go to a doctor for treatment, and people can also get help for when their brains are not working as well as they could be. If your child is in middle or high school, you can find out if your local NAMI affiliate offers the Ending the Silence program, for which trained NAMI members give classroom presentations on mental health awareness. Contact your local NAMI to find out if they have the program in your area.
I have done everything I can to get family member to see a doctor or therapist but they don’t think they need help. What can I do?
You are not alone. Many people who have mental health conditions do not believe they are sick. People with serious mental illness have something known as anosognosia, which means lack of insight. The person is unable to understand or believe that they need help. We recommend you consider attending a family support group with a local NAMI California affiliate. Our support groups are free and attended by and run by other family members who have loved ones with mental health conditions. You can learn coping skills and tips on how to communicate from others who understand first-hand what you’re going through.
Can someone help me with Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Family members, children, friends, attorneys, and other individuals and organizations may help you with your SSI application or appeal. You may choose someone to help you with completing forms; going with you to your local Social Security office; interpreting for you; helping you gather and give information; taking you to medical examinations or to your local Social Security office; receiving mail for you at his or her address. If you want more help, you may appoint a representative to also handle reviewing your file at your local Social Security office; getting information from us about your claim, including notices and letters, just as you would; representing you at informal or formal hearings; giving evidence for you; or helping you with appeals. Click here for a list of organizations that may help you apply for SSI or appeal a decision by SSA.