Date of Award

Spring 4-12-1995

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Families are the primary caregivers for individuals who have a mental illness. They experience mild to severe burdens attempting to cope and adapt with the mental illness of their family member. On the basis of a review of the literature most families feel that their needs are not being adequately addressed by mental health professionals. The purpose of this study is to identify providers of mental health services within Hennepin County of Minnesota, their attitudes, program goals and services that address the issues and needs of families of individuals who have a mental illness. The findings of this study show that the majority of respondents feel that working with families is very important and that families do play a role in the rehabilitation of their family member. However, the findings also show that limited support services are provided for families of individuals who have a mental illness. Mental illness affects not only the individual with the illness, but the entire family. On the basis of the findings of this study the author suggests a holistic, systems approach needs to be created that would encourage collaboration among individuals who have a mental illness, their families, mental health professionals, and the community.


SC 11.MSW.1995.FriesenG.JL

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Social Work Commons