A MSW (Institute of Mental Health)
& Rotary Club of Northam Initiative

Caregiving Guidelines

Managing your Loved One's Illness Effectively

Effective and Constructive Communication Tips

Managing Non-Communication Behaviours

Managing Relapses and Crises

Managing Your Loved One’s Illness Effectively

1. Help your loved one set personal activity plans (daily, weekly, monthly)
Develop predictable routines for your loved one to follow, such as sleeping and waking times, meal and physical exercise times etc. Break tasks into small steps. Help them with the task by giving them prompts and simple instructions. These techniques can help your loved one overcome their lack of motivation.

2. Have plans to manage disturbed behaviour, crisis, and relapses
Discuss strategies with your loved one’s psychiatrist and mental healthcare team on how to manage disturbed behaviour, such as aggressive and/or suicidal behaviours.

3. Help your loved one identify their relapse warning symptoms/signs
Observe and discuss with your loved one and his doctor his usual warning or relapse behaviour changes. Find out what both you and he can do to prevent his symptoms from worsening into a relapse. Agree on a plan of action.

4. Work with your loved one’s doctor and healthcare professionals
Mental health professionals (doctors/nurses/psychologists/medical social workers) are the most important resource people to help your loved one maintain mental wellness. Establishing good communication and working relationship with healthcare providers will lighten your care-giving responsibility.

5. Report aggressive behaviours
Always report actual or threat of violence immediately to the police or the professionals looking after your loved one. If your loved one is a IMH patient, you can contact the IMH Mobile Crisis Team helpline at 6389 2222 for advice.