The potential effectiveness of professional or nurse-provided social support versus enhancement of social support provided by personal relationships and social networks for parents of children with chronic mental illness is becoming increasingly relevant as the prevalence of this type of condition grows. It is well known that chronic mental health issues can have a significant impact on the lives of those living with them, including their family members. As such, it is important to consider how best to provide appropriate supports to these families in order to help them cope with the burden associated with caring for a chronically ill child.
One way to do this is through providing professional or nurse-provided social support. This could involve appointing or hiring a dedicated clinician who has specialized training and expertise in working with families dealing with chronic mental illness. These professionals would be able to provide both emotional and physical therapeutic services as needed, from individual counseling sessions, group therapy activities, home visits, educational programs and psychological testing among others (Bureau & Lecomte, 2016). Such experts can also offer valuable advice about coping strategies for both parents and children that are tailored to each family’s specific situation. While this type of intervention does require resources in terms of having an experienced clinician available on staff at all times, research indicates that it can result in beneficial outcomes such as improved communication between family members (Bureau et al., 2018).