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How are families managing severe mental illness?

Insight on SBS, Tuesday 6 September, 8.30pm.

This week on Insight, we hear how severe mental illness is managed in the family.

For many families, watching a loved-one battle a severe mental illness can be a distressing experience, often involving daily ethical decisions about how best to help them.

How do you manage getting treatment? How does it affect the family dynamic? What if the person refuses to take their medication or accept that they have a mental illness? What's it like to set-up boundaries and maintain vigilance as a carer?

John has had to make such decisions when his wife, Luana, suffers a psychotic episode. Pat's two sons have been diagnosed with schizophrenia; one voluntarily accepts treatment, but the other does not. Madeleine and Emma-Leigh have been caring for their mother since they were young, when she struggles with her bipolar.

When should psychiatrists be called in, and make decisions about compelling someone to take medication? Or to schedule them for involuntary treatment? What impact does that have on a family, and how can they be sure they’re making the right choices? For their loved ones and for themselves.

Tune in on Tuesday 6 September at 8.30pm.

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