The objective of this qualitative, exploratory, and descriptive study was to understand the meanings of being a caregiver to family members with mental disorders. The study was conducted among relatives of patients with mental disorders, attended at the Integrated Clinic of Primary Health Care in the municipality of Biguaçu-SC, Universidade do Vale do Itajaí. Qualitative data was generated through dialogic interviews and analyzed using the theory of Becoming Human. Four categories emerged from analysis: the experience of mental disorder in families; coping with its difficulties and limitations; relationships with family and "others"; co-creation of the possibilities for transcendence. We conclude that living the theory of Becoming Human including a family member mental patient caregiver involves the co-participation of the nurse as a caregiver, in illuminating with meaning the experienced situations, thus co-transcending their own conditions of being and acting in the world in search of a better quality of life.
Nursing; Mental disorders; Family