The best advice I've come across about how to help someone recover from a mental illness is from Pat Deegan, Director of Training and Education at The National Empowerment Center. The entire article is available for a nominal fee from the National Empowerment Center. If you know someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can become their powerful ally by absorbing the message in Recovery as a Journey of the Heart. Her article explains how people like herself who have been labelled mentally ill defend themselves againt profound disappointment and hurt.
"The fact that I was unmotivated was seen as a problem by the people who worked with me. But for me, giving up was not a problem, it was a solution. It was a solution because it protected me from wanting anything. If I didn't want anything, then it couldn't be taken away. If I didn't try, then I wouldn't have to undergo another failure. If I didn't care, then nothing could hurt me again."
Think about how Pat Deegan's observations might apply to your own relative.