In the current age of genomic health care, family history is an essential tool for health assessment, especially for those with chronic mental illness. Three methods of family history assessment (genograms, ecomaps, and pedigree analysis) are described and illustrated. Examples from the family history literature demonstrate each method's usefulness. These approaches improve both consumers' and psychiatric nurses' abilities to comprehend overall health status as well as risks at the individual, family, and community levels. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.