Family Psychoeducation

Family psychoeducation is a method for working with families, other caregivers and friends who are supportive of persons with mental illness. Based on a family-consumer-professional partnership, it combines information about mental illness with training in problem solving, communication skills, coping skills and developing social supports. The goals are to markedly improve consumer outcomes and quality of life, as well as to reduce family stress and strain.

A variety of family psychoeducation models have been developed over the past two decades and they are typically professionally created and led, offered as part of an overall clinical treatment plan for the consumer, and focus first on consumer outcomes, although family understanding and well-being are essential as an intermediary outcome. Models differ in their format (multiple family vs. single family), duration of treatment, type of participation by the consumer, location (hospital/clinic-based vs. home/community setting), and variable emphasis on didactic, emotional, cognitive-behavioral and systematic techniques. There are also family-led information and support classes or groups such as those of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (directly cited from SAMHSA, Family Psychoeducation Implementation Resource Kit, 2002, pp. 2 & 14)

For more information, please visit the SAMHSA web site.

The toolkit is also available through the SAMHSA website.

Please contact Dawn Shimp for the following videotapes:

  • Introductory Videotape
  • Practice Demonstration Videotape