Web series aims to give community to caregivers

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Web series aims to give community to caregivers
Unpaid caregivers open up about common challenges in a recent web series. For some, caring for a loved one can be isolating - it prevented one Alberta woman from reaching out for help. Bindu Suri has her story – Mar 11, 2018

Tara Collins is courageously coming forward with her family’s painful past.

“I think I blamed myself a lot when he was yelling and screaming,” Collins said of her husband in a web series called “Being There,” on the website Stories for Caregivers.

Collins’ husband suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after serving in the military for 16 years.

In the process of caring for her husband, Collins was also diagnosed with PTSD.

“I certainly hit a point [where] I was really depressed [and] really anxious,” Collins said. “If he didn’t come home, for example, until 3 or 4 in the morning my anxiety would spike right up.”
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Director Mike Lang collaborated with Joel Goundry and Evan Thies for one of three web series that feature caregivers, including Collins.

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All three web series are intended to build a community for caregivers to help them understand they’re not alone.

“One of the first things we learned is how many people are active caregivers for their friends and families,” said Lang. “There’s over 8 million in Canada and that number is expected to double in the next 30 years.”

WATCH BELOW: Tackling PTSD and changing mental health culture

Click to play video: 'Tackling PTSD and changing mental health culture'
Tackling PTSD and changing mental health culture

Doctor Yvette Lu’s web series, called “House Call”, focuses on offering help. She discovered those who don’t realize they are caregivers tend not to reach out.

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“Caregivers have common challenges like self-care. So caregivers [are] not taking care of themselves properly just because they are so overwhelmed with all of their responsibilities,” said Dr. Lu.
“They may not feel supported, so sharing [this] series and website with them allows them to normalize the challenges they’re facing.”

Collins is now earning her PhD on how families cope with military PTSD, the very topic that devastated her family, while at the same time, made them stronger.

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