There is also Family Peer Support. This primarily takes the form of a family member who has experienced having a loved one with a mental illness lending an empathetic ear, sharing knowledge and strategies that they have found successful, and helping to find community resources. Just having someone who has been there themselves listen to your issues with compassion, can be a significant stress relief. Someone who is nonjudgmental, who can share possible ways for you to handle issues that arise, or can help you navigate the mental health system can be a tremendous help.
Peer Support allows people with a mental illness to learn and be supported by someone who has lived through a similar experience and who can relate to the difficulties the ill person is experiencing. They can help your loved one back into the community by helping them to socialize and to carry out simple tasks that they may be having difficulties with. This would include things like taking public transport or learning about available resources in the community. They also provide companionship and help people to reintegrate into the community.
Family support can also mean support for families of people with a mental illness. This support is often facilitated by other family members who are going through or have gone through the experience of having a family member with a mental illness. These family peer facilitators share knowledge and strategies that work for them and are understanding listeners who have experienced supporting a loved one with mental illness. Support for families can also be provided by service providers or mental health professionals. There was very little support for families in the past, but in recent years it has been improving.