At the Mental Health Association in Passaic County, we recognize that caring for a family member with a serious mental illness can be stressful and lonely. When you are a client of Intensive Family Support Services, you do not have to cope with the challenges of caregiving alone. Our program will provide the support, education and advocacy you need to cope effectively and help your relative. You will learn about mental illness and the mental health system, how to care for yourself while caring for your relative, how to reduce stress and how to strengthen your problem solving skills. You select the services you want, when you want them. The staff will meet with you in your home, at our office or at a mutually agreed upon location in the community. We provide a variety of services such as individual consultation, telephone support, support groups, education workshops, respite, information and advocacy. These consultations are provided as often as you need them. During this time, you will receive the information you need and you will be able to talk to us about your concerns, thoughts and feelings about your situation. The support groups provide an opportunity for you to meet other family members caring for a relative with a mental illness. These groups can reduce your stress, provide support and increase your coping skills in a professional and peer facilitated environment. Educational workshops consist of professionals from the fields of law, mental health and social services that provide education to you and your relative. Past topics of workshops have included Social Security Benefits, Psychiatric Medications, Estate Planning, Caring for the Caregiver, Navigating the Mental Health System and Residential Services. Respite is a non-emergency service for your family member to give you some relief from the responsibilities of caregiving. It is provided either in your home or during scheduled community outings. IFSS staff will assist you in obtaining the community services that you and your relative need. We also have a lending library of books, directories, brochures, audio cassettes and videos on various mental illness and treatments. All services are provided in English and Spanish and are free to you.
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For more details, please email Erika Calvi or call her at 973-478-4444, x 113.