With the trend of deinstitutionalization, family members are finding themselves increasingly in the position of primary caregivers to mentally ill adults - a role for which they are often untrained and unprepared. This volume explores the experiences of these caregivers.
The author: discusses the characteristics and conceptual models related to mental illness; surveys the experience of mental illness in the context of the family life cycle and developmental stages of the illness; appraises the burdens on the family including social stigma, refusal of treatment, stress and the relationship between the mentally ill and caregivers within the family; and reviews family responses including coping strategies and professional and nonclinical services available to families.
In addition, cultural factors affecting family caregiving are related in an international context. Legal and ethical barriers to care are looked at in detail, as are alternative models of family caregiving, including the growth of consumer-run services.
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