Brothers and sisters can also be a major source of social and practical support for people affected by mental illness. Despite this, siblings are often not provided with the information they need to offer this support.
Brothers and sisters may also have concerns about how mental illness affects their lives now, and how it may affect them in the future.
It is important that siblings are listened to and are provided with resources and guidance to help them in their own lives, and to help them support their brother or sister. We’ve put links here to the help and support on offer for siblings.
Sibling websites and online support networks:
The Rethink Mental Illness Siblings Network – The Rethink Mental Illness Siblings Network website has a section for siblings with information and resources and an online forum. Siblings can also join a sibling support group to meet with others and to share experiences and advice.
Sibs is a UK charity supporting siblings of all ages who are growing up with, or who have grown up with, a brother or sister with any disability, long term chronic illness, or life limiting condition.
They have a phone and email support service, as well as an online forum and a buddying service, and offer workshops for adult siblings for help with any adult sibling issue.
YoungSibs is an online support service for brothers and sisters of disabled children and young people. It is for siblings who live in the UK and are under 18.
YoungSibs is run by Sibs, and offers information and help as well as an online forum.
Other useful resources:
The Rethink website has a series of links to a range of resources such as videos and helpful documents including one produced by the Worcestershire Early Intervention Service – Information about Psychosis for brothers and sisters
This is a booklet developed by the Worcestershire Early Intervention Service providing information on:
A guide developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association providing information and resources for siblings. This includes topics such a:
Finding out more:
The Meriden Family Programme has produced an extensive research document ‘References on Siblings’ this lists the main sibling research and resources.
References on Siblings (149.2 KiB)
Meriden also produces a regular newsletter with useful articles, including a recent one about siblings
Siblings Article For Recovery For Carers (637.9 KiB)
The information on offer in our family and friends helpful services section may also be helpful to siblings.