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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Who is caring for Caregivers?

Dr. Edward Cruz, a nursing professor at the U of Windsor asked this question to all Canadians after interviewing dozens of caregivers.( stated in the Global News by Kendra Slugoski Oct 21, 2021). Who is caring for Caregivers? I asked the same question in 1995 when our daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. There was nothing for family members in "how to" support a loved one who was struggling with their mental health.

Through trial and error, we learned how to have honest healthy conversations, letting go of fixing by learning "how to" be supportive to our loved one, and how to respond to situations to have positive outcomes. 26 years ago there was no care for caregivers. In 1996 started to advocate for change by initiating a 6-week psycho-education session which led to having weekly family drop in sessions to ( since 2017) facilitaing 10-week sessions with caregivers engaging in conversations,"how to" implement tools, practice them, report their experiences and commit to the process to have less stress, pain and guilt.

Hearing how one mom who was struggling to know "how to" help her daughter with her anxiety, the concern of suicide and closed doors to conversation with her , mom was willing to change how she approached the situation and to learn " how to" listen so her daughter would open up to share what she was feeling and thinking. Mom realized she had to listen more talk less, make sure she understood what her daughter was saying and validate daughter for her honesty in how she felt and what she was thinking. Instead of jumping in to provide ideas what her daughter should do, she listened more and asked questions to have more clarification of what the root issue was. This changed their situation from constant stress, concern of suicide, no conversations and guilt that consumed them to the daughter willing to share what was happening with her and being honest of her feelings and thoughts. Mom and daughter have helped others who were struggling with similar challenges and frustrations they had.

Mom empowered her daughter to believe she had the capacity to transform difficult situations into positive outcomes.

Answering the question Who is caring for Caregivers? Cool Family Solutions

Thumbs Up Foundation - Harmonized Health Executive Summary ( Cool Family Solutions 10-week group program was one of the services) states the Harmonized Health Model.

"Between September 2020 and July 2021, the project funded some mix of mental health services for 45 individuals and 70 family members. Whether initiations came from an individual or a family, clients were provided with a community-based, team approach to holistic care in a unique and integrated way"

Happified Event with Thumbs Up as a sponsor with speakers, events, fun and the documentary of the Harmonized Health Project - click the link

TITLE - "Why Happified" is listed on the turquoise line . Listen to all the webinars such as opening, happy hour and share with others.


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