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In dealing with a mentally ill relative, it is important to remember that each individual family member will have his or her own response. One parent may find it easier to provide emotional support, while the other is better at taking care of business matters. One brother may be very involved with his ill sibling, while another may keep more distance. It’s important not to put pressure on other family members to react in certain ways, but to let each individual develop their own response. Family support is vital to people with mental illness, and it is best to find various ways to provide support based on each individual family members’ strengths and emotional reactions to the person with the illness.

When a family provides a high level of support and care for a person with mental illness, they may experience burnout and become tired and apathetic. To avoid burnout, it is important for family members to find healthy ways to cope – perhaps through supportive communities, and by taking good care of themselves.