Do Mental Health Services Reduce Distress in Families of People with Serious Mental Illness?

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This paper examines how the provision of mental health services to people with serious mental illness and their families is related to lower levels of psychological distress of family members. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with 778 family members whose relatives were receiving publicly funded services for serious mental illness. They found that the level of psychological distress experienced by family caregivers was lower in those families whose relatives with mental illness received more mental health services and when family caregivers experienced having a more collaborative relationship with providers in the treatment process. For those family members living with their relative with mental illness, those who reported receiving information and advice from mental health professionals reported lower levels of distress.

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