Mental Health

Sepsis survivors and family members of people who have had sepsis may find themselves experiencing emotional and psychological challenges that can make it difficult to move forward.

Survivors are often told that they have been cured and that they are lucky to have survived. But many are caught off guard by lasting effects, both physical and mental, that sepsis can leave behind. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety are not unusual among survivors. You can learn more about sepsis and PTSD here.

Sepsis doesn’t affect just the patient, researchers have discovered. A study published in 2012 found that the wives of older sepsis survivors were at greater risk of depression to nearly three to four times the average. Depression can be very serious, affecting quality of life and even the ability to function independently.

Relatives of people who have died from sepsis may also feel guilt or anger, and loved ones of sepsis survivors may also develop anxiety or even symptoms of PTSD as well, related to the fear and intensity of living through seeing a loved one be so ill.

Sepsis Alliance Connect is a virtual support community designed for the millions of people affected by sepsis. Click here to learn more or to sign up.

There are also agencies that may provide the help that you may be seeking, if you have not been able to contact a local mental health professional.

Emergency numbers:

United States 

988 Suicide Crisis Lifeline

From the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) site:

“By calling or texting 988, you’ll connect with mental health professionals with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Veterans can press “1” after dialing 988 to connect directly to the Veterans Crisis Lifeline which serves our nation’s Veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve members, and those who support them. For texts, Veterans should continue to text the Veterans Crisis Lifeline short code: 838255.”


988 Suicide Crisis Helpline

Text and voice, available in both English and French, across all provinces and territories. Indigenous people, children, and teens can choose services specifically geared to them.


NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)

This organization also has specific information for family members and caregivers of people who are affected by mental illness.

They also have discussion groups, among other resources.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs 

If you are a veteran, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has set up a Mental Health section, which includes help lines and a National Resource Directory.

Veteran Affairs: PTSD 

Even if you are not a veteran, this National Center for PTSD, may be a helpful resource.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 

This site provides many links to resources from behavioral health agencies to peer support.

This is a basic list of resources listed by state. It is not a comprehensive list and there may be many more resources in your area.


Updated July 18, 2022.