Being family of mental health consumers: experiences and feelings
Keywords:Care, family, mental health services.
To know the experiences of care of family members of mental health users who are accompanied in a Psychosocial Care Center II in the southern region of the country. This is an exploratory and descriptive research with a qualitative approach carried out with seven family members included in the group of family members of the service. They were classified in three themes: Experience regarding the care given by the family caregiver to the mental health user; Support network available to the family caregiver; Strategies used by the family caregiver to promote self-care. The study reveals the impact of the overload of the family caregiver when performing this function with family members who demand a high degree of dependence. As the dependence of the person who demands care increases, the family caregiver notices an increase in the overload, which interferes with their physical and psychological health. Becoming the primary caregiver entailed the abandonment of some activities at some point in life due to the user's dependence; including activities to promote self-care. By assuming this role, the participants reported the fragility of the intrafamily support network, and PSCC was mentioned as the main support network. In this study, it was possible to perceive the overload of the family caregiver from all the demands generated by this process that, when shared in the group, makes it possible to relieve the anguish and create care strategies that promote an improved interaction with the family member who is a PSCC user, and may stimulate this person to have more autonomy over their life.
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