Planning helps families to prepare for tough times
Christmas can be a very stressful time of year for many people. For some, there may be complex social interactions with family, financial pressures and the pressure to have a 'magical' festive season. For others, it may be a time of isolation and loneliness.
For parents experiencing mental health problems (and their families) Christmas can be even more stressful.
Consider triggers to stress
Thinking about the triggers and stress you may face in the upcoming festive season can help you to prepare to manage them. What strengths do you have that you can draw on to help you cope? Who could you turn to for extra support if you need it? Who should you avoid or limit contact with if they add too much stress to your life?
It may also be a good idea to develop a care plan for your family about what to do in case there's a mental health crisis. Care plans can help to alleviate some anxieties and fears you may be experiencing and can help children to feel reassured as well.
Care plans provide a reassuring backup plan
Care plans can be developed by families themselves, or with the support of a mental health professional. Different family members may have different worries, so it can be helpful to sit down and write the care plan together.
The COPMI national initiative has created these templates to help you develop your own care plan. You may want to complete these or simply use them as a guide.
- Family Care Plan (for the whole family)
- Care Plan for Kids and Young People (for parents to help complete with young people)
- Baby Care Plan (for parents to complete on their wishes for their baby)