Wrapping people in understanding and support.

Family Partnership

  • Overview

    A vital support system for families struggling with mental illness

    The Family Partnership program engages families who have struggled with mental illness to support other family members in many ways including: parent coaching, parenting classes, system navigation, resource finding, emotional support and child mentoring.  Peer support is especially effective in breaking through isolation and shame that comes from social stigma.

    Our guiding principles help to ensure that service plans are strengths-based, culturally sensitive and meet the unique needs of each family in ways that are respectful and family-centered.

    A Family Partner Can Help Families:

    • Listen to concerns and problem solve with family members
    • Assist families in searching and accessing appropriate services
    • Encourage family participation in supporting mentally ill adult, child or family member
    • Supply educational materials
    • Provide information about support groups, workshops and conferences
    • Inform family of their rights and the limits of family involvement
    • Receive complaints and follow up on concerns regarding Marin County Mental Health
    • Liaison between family members and Marin County Mental Health
    • Provide Positive Parenting Classes (in English and Spanish)
    • Provide information and help in accessing resources in the community
    • Provide support during acute crisis

    Families, Youth, and Healing Partnerships By the Numbers

    Clients receiving youth mentorship services
    Clients receiving family partner services
    Family members served by bilingual Spanish speaking family partners
    This was the first time in my life in the county that partners have come together. I’ve received the care of a psychologist, a nurse practitioner, and a case manager in addition to support groups all at the same time." Client, Peer Mental Health

    Success Story

    The Miller Family

    Impacted by the physical disability and mental illness of his mother, 15-year-old Mark became suicidal.  After one hospitalization for attempting to end his life, he was referred to us for both a Youth Mentor and a Family Partner.

    The Youth Mentor began working with Mark in his community and school, teaching him life skills and coping mechanisms to restore his hope for his future.  In the course of their work, the Youth Mentor discovered that Mark was a musical prodigy.  Having never studied music he was able to play music by ear.  We were able to get him a guitar and connect him to other musicians, giving him a much-needed creative outlet and peer group with whom he could relate.

    We also worked with his mother and older sibling to help them coordinate care for Mark so that he didn’t get neglected at home despite the their limitations.

  • FAQ

    How do you support family members?

    We provide parent coaching, parenting classes, system navigation, resource finding, emotional support and child mentoring.

    Why is what you do effective?

    Families who have a family member struggling with mental illness need support from someone who understands all the challenges this can create. Peer support is especially effective in breaking through the isolation and shame that comes from social stigma.

    Who do you help?

    Family members of clients of Marin County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services and children under 18 who are clients of the county.

    If you have any questions that aren’t answered above,
    please contact me so I can help you out.

    Family Partners Director

    Dawn Hensley