Family Guide to Mental Health

family guide @ work/HR

It is well known that one of the most  common reasons for absence and loss of productivity in the workplace is mental illness. Coping with a Family mental illness as a family member or caregiver is a major and often invisible reason for Employee stress, absence from work and loss of productivity.

Added care-giving & parenting, seeking health care and short-notice crisis management are a few of the common aspects of being a Family member when a mental illness is experienced by a loved one, and responsibilities that can be hard to explain and manage at work if it is not openly supported in the work environment.   There is also the cost of added stress, physical strain and less time to focus on workload for the burdened family member.   This is a huge area for further exploration, communication and resource building inside businesses large and small.  The more acceptance, support and resources incorporated into employee education and assistance strategies, the more likely Family members are to acknowledge and address the situation proactively, where employers have an ability to positively assist and find ways for a positive outcome for all involved.  This enlightened strategy is not yet the norm, but there is positive progress.

We would be very pleased if your company would choose to mobilize the Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery as a resource to introduce & guide EMPLOYEES & HR Professionals through key aspects of the family mental health experience.

Relevant Family Guide educational resources can be introduced by your HR professionals or through Employee Support content resources.

If you would like our help, we would be happy to work with you to design a CUSTOMIZED INTRODUCTION to your Employees or integration into your current programs, to help them start using our Family Guide support resource for Family Members.

Relevant resources include:Video, Text, Online Forums and Employer USER GUIDE:


Our Film & Video Gallery offers Family Members & HR Counselors “Mini Documentary Clips” of 6 to 10 minutes that introduce key aspects of the family journey: from onset, seeking care, understanding and facing the situation, addressing stigma, self care for family members, finding turning points to recovery and returning to a new balance.  All Family Guide video material features family members and family support practitioners sharing their lived experience and insights.

Our feature documentary film “The Journey Home” can be used for group screenings and discussion sessions. Additional clips and single family member perspectives are housed in our “Family Interview” Gallery.


TEXT RESOURCES in our “Information and Resources” section provides a range of materials, organized into five subject headings:

Defining Mental Health and Illness
Mental Health Conditions
Family Support Resources
Family Stories in Text
The Road to Recovery for Families

Each section has multiple text articles ranging from 20-30 page book excerpts to essays and powerpoint presentations from support organizations who have contributed family support materials for your viewing. We have also published personal submissions from family members who share their life’s journey and guidance for families.

Each VIDEO & TEXT element is focused on real families and family support practitioners that share their lived experiences, learning and insight. They bring us key aspects facing any family and are great conversation starters to help audiences feel less inhibited about bringing us their own experiences, once they’ve heard from others on screen.  If your organization has internal resources to facilitate the conversation, we are happy for you to use our resources independently.

If you would like our expertise, custom tools or in-person participation to introduce the Family Guide resource to your organization, please contact us at:


We have a range of materials that can be used by your company members to the Family Guide project.

INTRO POSTCARDS introduce the project visually, have our URL and are easy to pass along to Employees, and in turn, at home to other Family members.  We can potentially custom print for your Company, to include your logo & HR information as well.

“THE JOURNEY HOME” DVD is our feature documentary film with bonus video material and is now available starting in May 2014.Our limited edition DVD contains the full feature film The Journey Home, bonus video materials and watching on DVD is the most reliable SCREENING format for group viewing, particularly if you want to watch the whole film uninterrupted, project large format or watch chapters individually. TO ORDER & PURCHASE DVD’s, CLICK HERE!

Our USER GUIDE is targeted to Educators, Facilitators and Support staff – and can be used for general education or to help inform family members or as a first step toward practitioner-focused programs.  Here is a sample. We can also create CUSTOMIZED USER GUIDES to fit your EAP or other employee support program’s.

Bound hard-copies or PDF’s of our USER Guide can be purchased for HR Support Staff or as viewing guides for Employees, to navigate our online resources. They can be ordered by emailing us at




The Mission Media Company has worked with Health Care Organizations, Companies and School Boards to deliver IN-PERSON presentations to the Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery and key aspects of the Family member experience.

We have created custom presentations for small groups, classes, workshops, and even “show” type presentations for 300-400 person assemblies.

Our presentations include speakers, video clips and group activities. We can also invite family members & family practitioners to participate and present as well as film-maker Stuart Clarfield. We are happy to work with you to create a presentation, run a class or deliver an assembly that will deliver the results you want for a target group of Employees, Managers or HR Counsellors. Please email us at with inquiries or questions.

References available.


The Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery has been used online by over 60 universities in 60 countries worldwide, through our collaboration with the University of Toronto Ipperwash School of Social Work. We are happy to provide your company with provide you with licensed Video clips and support material if you want to incorporate them directly into y0ur Intranet or EAP resources.  Please email us at with inquiries or questions.


Given the prevalence of mental illness in our community – 1 in 5 people will experience it – it is only logical to assume that EVERY FAMILY is affected over time.  Many of your current employees are facing a mental health challenge at home and Employee Assistance & Education programs are a direct and fantastic way to let them know they are acknowledged, accepted and supported.  We hope the Family Guide project can become one aspect of your Employee support resources in this area, and maybe a great first step.