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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 4, No. 2
May 1999

Working with Adults with Mental Illness: Practice Tips

  1. Afford the same respect to people with mental illness as you would to anyone else.

  2. Take a strength-based perspective.

  3. Watch for signs of abuse or neglect, just as you do with other parents.

  4. Be flexible, but expect adults to take responsibility for their actions.

  5. Do not try to rescue or cure the person with mental illness; instead, make referrals.

  6. Communicate with your supervisor frequently.

  7. Honor confidentiality.

  8. Don't take things personally. Don't get frustrated. Be patient.

  9. Take some extra time to learn about the person's illness by reading or talking with professionals.

1999 Jordan Institute for Families