Psychiatry reforms of recent decades and the trend towards so-called "revolving door psy-chiatry" lead to shorter hospital stays, which simply try to stabilise the patient. Their relatives, therefore, take on more responsibilities. A large proportion of mentally ill people are super-vised and cared for by their parents, children or partners. Predominant symptoms of different diseases and resulting dynamics and problems in the relationship affect the health status and quality of life of family members. They also go through strain and emotions, such as shame, shock, stigma and guilt, which affect every part of their life. Taking the blame for a disease off of the family members is now part of the methods repertoire of social workers and doc-tors. Nevertheless, there is still catching up to do in the education and support of heavily bur-dened relatives, who define their own well-being above that of the sick person and therefore make themselves dependent. Exploring the different problems and the existing support sys-tems is seen as a foundation for the implementation of appropriate offers in the social work practice.