Family Support Tips & Resources

To successfully support a loved one and stay healthy, family members benefit from their own dedicated support and education plan. Often, accessing this kind of help is the best first step in helping a loved one and is the equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on first before helping someone else on a plane.

Here, we’ll share some great tips and resources families can benefit from while navigating a loved one’s mental health challenge.



No one should face a mental health challenge alone, even when the diagnosis isn’t theirs. Whether through paid therapy, family counseling, or a community support group, talking about their experiences can increase resilience, build empathy, and reinforce good boundary setting.

Here are quick tips for making the most of a support group:

Support Tips

1. Impartial and confidential

Formal and informal support should offer impartial and confidential support. Leaning on other family members and friends can create awkward situations. A neutral setting can help family members to open up more about their experiences.

2. Stick with it

Like many kinds of treatment, the benefits of support will increase over time. Give therapy or support group time to develop before giving up.

3. But don’t get stuck

While sticking with the plan is essential, it’s also vital to find the right kind of support. If a particular group or therapy isn’t a good individual fit, it’s time to move on. It’s okay to “shop around” for the right experience.


Therapy 101

Basic information on knowing when and how to get help.

NAMI Family classes and support groups

Free local support groups and classes covering variety of topics.

Low Cost/Sliding Scale Counseling

Options for affordable counseling in Central Texas. Use the drop-down menu.


Knowledge and understanding go hand-in-hand with acceptance and recovery. Family members who take time to learn about mental health challenges will have more empathy and will be more able to protect their own mental health.

Here are a few tips to get started:

Education Tips

1. Find good sources

Google is a wealth of information, but what you find can be overwhelming, sensationalized, or just plain wrong. Be sure to use trusted sources for information.

2. Ask questions

Some aspects of mental health and treatment options are confusing. Use your community resources to better understand how to navigate the system.

3. Stay judgment free

As family members learn more about mental health challenges, it’s key to remember that everyone’s experience is different and the path to recovery is rarely linear.


Mental Health Conditions

Detailed guide to common mental health diagnoses, treatments options, and support.

Mental Health First Aid

Like CPR for mental health, the one-day class trains attendees on how to help someone in a mental health crisis.

Circle of Care Guidebook

Guide unpaid friends, family, and neighbors who care for someone with a mental health condition.

Crisis Planning

No one wants to see a loved one go through a mental health crisis, but knowing what to do and where to get them help can reduce stress and be life-saving.

Here are a few quick tips for crisis planning:

Crisis Planning Tips

1. Don’t wait

It’s never too late to write down the details, even for family members in the midst of a crisis. The plan can be as simple as a document listing basic details such as contact information, medications, and treatment preferences.

2. At your fingertips

Programming important numbers, such as the crisis lifeline, into a phone can save time later. The crisis plan document should be easily accessible on a cell phone or at home.

3. Share the plan

Everyone who might need to help needs to know the details of the crisis plan.


Mental Health Crisis Planning Flyer

Printable flyer with questions to consider and actionable steps to create a crisis plan.

Travis County Crisis Services

Crisis services in Travis County through Integral Care.

Central Texas Crisis Resources

NAMI Central Texas Crisis Resource Guide, including resources across Central Texas.

For free 24/7 emotional support, call Integral Care at 512-472-4357.
Visit NAMI Central Texas to check out support groups for adults, family members, and more.