School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Christopher Garner


mental health, marital satisfaction


Counseling | Education


Mental health effects have been continually documented to include difficulty with building relationships with others, issues with communicating needs effectively, and difficulty maneuvering community services and supports. These difficulties can add pressure on individuals with mental health issues and can cause the difficulties of symptoms to increase. These pressures of dealing with the symptoms of mental illness do not only fall on the individuals with mental illness but also fall on their caregivers, family members, and spouses. These individuals may play multiple roles to assist the individual with mental illness with feeling supported. The constant need for support and sometimes having to be the mediator for service connections, while having to deal with the symptoms of the person with mental illness, can lead to psychological difficulties for the family member or support person. Due to constant exposure to the person with mental illness and the mental stamina that it takes to deal with the individual, supporters are at risk for developing mental health issues themselves. Having to constantly combat these difficulties can also lead to family dysfunction, divorce, and marital dissatisfaction.