National Family Caregiving Support Guidelines

A loved one’s mental health problem or illness often impacts family, friends and supporters. Caring for a person living with a mental illness often leads to emotional, physical, financial and social burdens for caregivers.
That’s why the Mental Health Commission of Canada has released National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System to Support Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and Illnesses. These guidelines seek to recognize and support family caregivers’ needs and provide evidence-based best practices and advice to policy makers and service providers. They also include recommendations that are intended to improve a caregiver’s capacity to provide the best possible care to adults living with mental illness while maintaining their own wellbeing
Have a question or comment? Let the mental health commission of Canada know at
“ The recommendations for change in these Guidelines are exactly what is needed. Family caregivers need their helping role acknowledged and they need our support. These Guidelines are a step towards better health outcomes for Canadians. When we support family carers and embed them into the system of care, the whole mental health care system will improve.”
Heather Lackner
Knowledge Exchange Lead
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
and lifelong family caregiver
“ We estimate there are more than five million caregivers throughout Canada who must be supported, recognized and protected from the sometimes adverse consequences of having to care too much. These Guidelines reinforce the key actions contained in a Canadian Caregiver Strategy that the Coalition is advocating for. We look forward promoting the awareness and implementation of this important tool.”
Nadine Henningsen
President of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition
“ These Guidelines will go a long way to provide family caregivers with the tools they need to stay healthy and strong as they help their loved ones. Caregivers who are unable to tend to their own wellbeing may limit the effectiveness of the help they can provide to relatives and increase costs to the health and social service systems. These Guidelines are long overdue.”
Ella Amir
Chair of the MHCC’s former
Family Caregivers Advisory Committee
and Executive Director of AMI-Quebec