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How support for brothers and sisters can help

by Press Officer on 25 January, 2013

Sister Nancy with baby Rebecca
Do you know someone who has a brother or sister affected by mental illness?

We all know that the impact of mental illness on families can be great and everyone learns and recovers at their own rate. But the brothers and sisters of people with mental illness often don’t have access to information or emotional support, which could help them understand how they could support their sibling affected by mental illness and look after their own wellbeing too. That is why we started Siblings Connect, our annual information and support event for brothers and sisters.

And that’s why we need you, to help us spread the word!

How can our siblings event help? I spoke with Neil. He has two brothers with schizophrenia and last year was struggling to balance supporting his two brothers with the pressures of a new job. His own wellbeing began to suffer and he felt overwhelmed, unsure of what to do next.

Then his partner told him about our free Siblings Connect event. This was a real turning point for Neil. He came along, and for the first time had the opportunity to talk about his concerns as a sibling and gain information tailored to his needs. He also found emotional support through talking to other people and sharing stories and advice.

Since then he has attended more of our events, gained information and tools from our information resources and joined a support group which he comes along to when he wants extra support. And he’s able to use his experience to help others in the group too!

“It was a rollercoaster of a year, but I have more emotional stability now. All the work still goes on, but I’m in a much better place to do it.”

Hearing Neil’s story has made us all the more excited to be planning for our Siblings Connect event on Saturday 2 March and our other events and workshops coming up for this year.

“A brilliant and really useful day. Thank you. I only wish I could have had this help and support 20 years ago.” – a sibling who attended last year’s event

Do you know someone who has a brother or sister with a mental illness? Maybe your own sibling, your son, daughter or a friend.

Tell them about our free Siblings Connect event on Saturday 2 March 2013 in London – a day of talks and workshops for anyone who has a sibling with mental health problems – and help them get information and support now!

Best wishes,

Olivia
Siblings Network team

The Siblings Network is kindly funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

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