Up to 8.4 million Americans provide unpaid care to adults with emotional or mental health issues, according to The National Alliance on Caregiving. Caregivers are often family or people closest to the individual. This means caregivers navigate complex support systems, social structures, and relationships and are very aware of the stigma and barriers that they and their loved ones experience.
Their perspectives offer service providers, policy makers, and legislators the opportunity to better understand the experiences of caregivers and insights that could shape policy and practice.
Findings from a recent national study entitled On Pins and Needles: Caregiving for Adults with Mental Illness found that caregivers of adults with mental illness are 88% family members, 45% parents, 14% of adult children caring for parents/ a parent and 11% spouses.