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Behavioral Health

Family Support and Education Program


Who helps the families and natural support persons when someone you love has serious mental illness?
Maricopa Integrated Health System offers a variety of services for families experiencing the uncertainty and stress that can accompany serious mental illness (SMI). These services are offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) evidence-based program, based at the South Central Family Health Clinic.

How does participation work?
Parents, friends, siblings or anyone the diagnosed individual wants to be supported by in their recovery process can be a part of the program. The program works best if the loved one participates, but this is not required for program participation. We partner with the family to focus on the strengths, to identify challenges and barriers to wellness, and to collaborate on how to address these barriers effectively. The program is designed for adults and their families, or youth transitioning to adulthood (17+) and their families.

What are the benefits of this program?
The individuals who participate in the program have shown to have fewer relapses and spend less of their time hospitalized. Their families report the program helped them gain a greater understanding of the illness, feel more competent and knowledgeable about the illness and feel better prepared to help their loved one navigate through life.

What kinds of services are provided?

  • Educational workshops are offered monthly on a variety of topics, from empathy and listening, to listening without judgement and navigating life transitions. Classes will continually be developed based on program participant needs.
  • Individual and family counseling is available. Counseling focuses on issues related to living with mental illness and loving someone who has a serious mental illness. Some of the feelings and thoughts that trouble families tend to be grief and loss, concerns about independence and safety, and disagreement on how to parent an adult with serious mental illness. Program professionals work with the family to collaboratively develop the plan that best describes their needs.
  • One-on-one peer family support is offered.
  • As families become more skilled, they have the opportunity to meet other families on the same journey to share experiences, and expertise in multi-family support groups.

How do you enroll in the program?
The individual or their family of choice can call the program office at 480-344-2251, contact their case manager or psychiatrist to include this program on the care plan (and make a referral).

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