Making Their Own Mistakes

Caregivers may want to shield their loved one with a mental illness. How can they impart advice while also allowing their loved one their independence?

Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH, discusses the difficulties of allowing a patient or loved one their independence, even if it means making mistakes.

Dr Noonan is a physician consultant and Certified Peer Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author of four books and a blog on managing depression, most recently Helping Others With Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do (December 2020). Dr Noonan has a new mental health and wellness virtual coaching practice, opening in July 2021, known as Noonan Wellness Coaching,and can be confidentially reached through her website at