What can I share with individuals and family members about a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, major depression, or schizophrenia?

Individuals may have many questions after they receive a new diagnosis of a condition that is a serious mental illness (SMI). Family members and loved ones may have many questions also.

They may have a range of emotions that are related to some of the questions. This can include concern, fear, anger, and more.

You can let them know that a diagnosis is a critical tool for you and other members of their care team. The diagnosis helps advise and guide their care team on things like treatment options and future health risks.

SMI Adviser offers a free infographic called What to Know About a New Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, or Schizophrenia. It lists many things for people to know and understand after a new diagnosis. You can use and share this helpful resource with individuals and family members. It reinforces that:

  • SMI is not their fault nor is it the fault of people in their life. It is not caused by one event that they could have prevented.
  • All people have different experiences with SMI – even people with the same diagnosis as them.
  • When they live with SMI, they are never alone – help, support, and compassion is always there with a click, call, or support group meeting.
  • The journey to improved health and functioning is different for each person.
  • Many things are possible when they start treatment early and play an active role in their treatment.


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