A shared disorder
The 2022–2026 Mental Health Action Plan (in French only) focuses on supporting the family and circle of persons with a mental disorder. It recognizes the need to:
- provide families with the necessary resources and to take into account their experience;
- support the many young people who have a family member or friend living with a mental disorder;
- train stakeholders to accompany families.
This means that caregivers are recognized for their role. They are encouraged to recognize their role in the recovery of the person they are caring for, to get the tools they need and to seek services.
In Québec and elsewhere, it is estimated that one in five young people has someone near to them with a mental disorder. Reconciling education and caregiving can be a major challenge.
The Plan d’action interministériel en santé mentale 2022-2026 — S’unir pour un mieux-être collectif (2022–2026 Mental Health Action Plan [in French only]) plans to create conditions that are favourable to the well-being of young people impacted by mental disorders, particularly young caregivers, with an innovative approach by and for young people across Québec.
It’s possible to develop and remain on track. Like Joany, Dave and Marie in the documentary Garder le Cap by the Réseau Avant de craquer, there are resources to support them. Organizations such as LaPProche and the Réseau Avant the craquer offer specific content for young people who are caring for someone close to them: for example, the guide When Your Parent has a Mental Illness.