How MyHealios Helped Me Help My Loved One
When my family member and I started on this journey in the strange new world of schizoaffective disorder, it was very daunting. Not only was his world shattered, so was mine. He was no longer the same young man with so many friends and a wonderful life ahead of him. He was now a stranger, in so many ways.
Communication was very difficult. There were times I couldn’t get him to respond to me. Times we just couldn’t understand each other. My most common question to the service providers was “How can we learn to communicate again?’. Most of them brushed me off or said they’d set something up in the future (which in itself was a brush-off). Still, I struggled. I read “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” by Dr. Xavier Amador. I took the Family to Family Class offered by Nami. It helped a lot, but wasn’t the same as working one on one with a professional to learn new techniques. Still, I kept asking, each time we met a new professional. I never got the answers I was looking for.
Then, I saw a video that piqued my interest! It was on the IMHRO website. Fantastic! I was interested, because there is so little out there for families dealing with loved ones who have serious mental illnesses. The focus is usually on the less severe mental illnesses and on the person suffering from the mental illness, but very little for families and caregivers. Yet we are such an important part of the process! MyHealios sounded like something I wanted to learn more about, so I contacted them.
This organization was just what I was looking for! Since my loved one first became ill, I was asking for help in re-learning how to communicate with him. Because of the huge impact to the cognitive functioning of people with psychotic illnesses, I found it difficult to know what to say to him. All I wanted was to learn this new ‘language’, so that I could help him help himself. But there was nothing. I told all the clinicians I came in contact with what I was looking for. All they did was recommend that I go to a WRAP (Wellness and Recovery Action Plan) class, or to CODA (CoDependents Anonymous). Neither of these groups had a clue what I was looking for. Thank goodness I finally found MyHealios!
MyHealios is not a support group, nor is it therapy. I refer to it as my coaching session. My clinician was my coach. Through weekly, structured video chats, my coach helped me learn skills to apply to everyday life with my loved one. These skills help me help him. We would talk about strategies and what was going right and wrong each week. We’d work through educational slides that she shared with me and do role plays. She listened to me when I got off track and deftly steered me back on track so that I could learn the skills I needs. We started with small tasks to work on and eventually I saw how the techniques for small tasks could be applied to larger issues. I also learned that these skills, like anything new, required a lot of practice and focus.
At the end of my twelve week sessions, I felt I had the tools I needed to more effectively help my loved one reach his goals. I also felt I learned how to better care for myself as I care for him. As a caregiver, we often forget the importance of self-care. MyHealios reminded me of my own importance!
I was so happy with MyHealios that I started referring business to them. I now work for them, reaching out to families and letting them know there IS help for them as they go through this difficult journey.
Please feel free to contact me for more information. My email address is email@example.com. You can learn more about us at www.myhealios.com.