How this guide is organized (with excerpts)

Endorsements by Mental Health Professionals

To Order

Library of Congress information


What mental health professionals and others say about this guide:

This guide is the single best resource I have read for those people who care for and about someone with a mental illness. In plain language, it describes all those pragmatic and personal issues that can be all too easily overlooked or forgotten in the heat of the moment, be it in an emergency room, a doctor's office, or at home.

— David S. Goldbloom, MD, FRCPC
Senior Medical Advisor, Education and Public Affairs, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health; Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto


This is an excellent, medically sound resource in the management of mental illness.

— Anthony Levitt
Psychiatrist in Chief, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Women's College Hospital


This is a pioneering and highly practical guide for a person supporting someone who is starting treatment for mental illness. Full of useful and accurate advice, it skilfully blends the views of health professionals, care recipients and people who have been in the role of 'companion' ... The authors have thoroughly researched their topic and are to be commended for its balanced approach.

First Shirley A. Brown chair in Women's Mental Health (a collaboration of the University of Toronto, the Centre for Research in Women's Health, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto)


At a time when health care dollars are being stretched to past the breaking point, this piece promotes the development of healthy support systems for our clients. In the future, there will be increasing pressure for families and companions to be more involved, and this guide will be invaluable.

— Darryl Jackson, MSW, RSW
Social Worker, Psychiatric Day Hospital, Eric Martin Pavilion, Victoria, BC


People at their first contact with the mental health treatment system often feel numb, fearful, confused, disorganized, vulnerable, quick to anger, or any combination of these emotions. Just when they most want to be a calm and effective advocate for their loved one, they don't know how to navigate in this unfamiliar world. With this booklet as their guide, they will be able to act compassionately and in the best interest of their friend or relative. These writers clarify and make sense of a very difficult time.

— Gail Simpson
Former Executive Director, Capital Mental Health Association, Victoria, BC


This is a wonderful piece of work ... On behalf of the entire Roundtable Board, we compliment and thank you for this gift to Canada and Canadians. It flows from where all great gifts must flow - the heart.

— Bill Wilkerson
Co-founder and ceo, Global Business and Economic Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health


In the average Canadian company a mental health disorder afflicts one to three employees in ten. This authoritative guide will ... provide practical advice for managers on how to cope with the effects of mental illness. Every employee should have a copy.

— Don Tapscott
President, New Paradigm Learning Corporation

© Katherine Farris and Larry MacDonald, 2005