We Help Mental Health Family Caregivers Who Are Stuggling With Care Demands & Care Management of Loved Ones Battling Mental Illness
Hello Family Caregiver,
My name is La Shawn Wilburn I'm the founder of HOMAGI. I live in Houston, Texas where I moved from California with my husband in the summer of 2011. I am the proud wife of, Joseph Wilburn a Mississippi native, and the proud mother of 5 children:
We are a blended family and this is the second marriage for both me and my husband. We are both the eldest of our parents children and between us there are 11 sisters and brothers and 32 nieces and nephews.
I started this organization over 14 years ago as a non-profit for homeless women and children. I chose the name HOMAGI for the word Homage. I desired to leave a legacy for my children I wanted to change the way families who were homeless were treated long term. I felt if families were given support and guidance they would in turn use sustainable ways to keep their families in their homes and breaking the cycle of homelessness. I always knew there was another layer of difficulty in addressing the family’s needs; I just didn't know what it was. I now know its generational life skills that fail and bring people right back to where their parents were, and where they swore they would never be.
When my son was diagnosed with a mental illness in the summer of 2012 and we began our journey to mental health with him, I couldn't find organizations for Mental Health Family Caregivers. I converted my organization to serve Family Caregivers like me.
As a mental health survivor of depression and anxiety myself I understand how important it is for us family caregivers to see to our own health and wellness...self-care, which for some caregivers sounds like a dirty four-letter word. It's not. Self-Care is very important for us caregivers; it's literally a matter of life and death. So many caregivers wind up in the hospital themselves after suffering burnout and possibly a heart attack.
During my journey as a caregiver I went from full time employment to being a full time caregiver. I understand the demands of caregiving for a loved one with a mental health condition and how rewarding it can be as we watch them come to a place of acceptance and get on their way to living independently again. That is the ultimate goal of the family caregiver for someone with a long term mental illness, but it is not always the way the journey begins. It took us 3 1/2 years to get stable, and we still have our ups and downs. It's part of living life with a mental illness. No perfection just acceptance, love, patience, kindness, and tolerance.
Throughout the twists and turns, the highs and lows of the journey of someone struggling with a mental health condition unmanaged we as caregivers find ourselves in a place of conflict with our emotions and our sense of reason. Not everything makes sense to us as we are offering the best possible support we know how and are unable to get our loved ones on board with investing in their own mental health; staying compliant and appreciating the sacrifices we make as the caregiver to ensure they have what they need to do so.
Because I understand the challenges of navigating the medical system with a loved one who may or may not grant access to their medical records because of being symptomatic, and because I learned through lots of trial and error how to create an environment that would be comfortable for our family to co-exist with the unruly visitor/new family addition called mental illness, I bring that experience to all of my caregivers and their families.
I would love to help you to fine tune your journey with your loved one and your family so that you can have a better quality of life. This is not a cake walk and this journey requires lots of investment on the part of the family. Learning to see the lighter side of our situation goes a long way for a mental health family caregiver, it helps us to get through the tough times and to remember that they too come to an end. I know we can help you to create a more manageable goal list for your family and we are ready to help you to do so.