As a carer, you may be looking after someone with a mental health condition, or you may find that your own mental health is being affected by your caring role. The Quilter Foundation’s young carers partner charity, Carers Trust, helps us break down the support available should you need it.
Which organisations have information that can help you care for someone with mental health issues?
- Contact your local carer service for support – find your local service on the Carers Trust website.
- Take a look at the information from the Royal College of Psychiatrists for patients, carers, family and friends relating to mental health conditions and disorders.
- See Mind’s information on supporting someone with a mental health condition.
- Read Carers Trust’s tips to help you talk to the person you care for if they are having suicidal thoughts and information if you have been affected by suicide.
- Read Carers Trust’s leaflet on Eating Disorders: Information for carers if you are caring for someone with an eating disorder.
Where can you get local support if you are caring for someone with a mental health condition?
Carers Trust has a local service finder to search for local support using your postcode. Most areas in the UK are covered by Carers Trust Network Partners. If you support someone in your family, you might also be able to get support through the Family Lives local services.
If you are caring for someone with a mental health condition, social services may be able to provide support for you and the person you look after. Some charities run face-to-face or online video support groups and Rethink have a tool for carers of people with mental health problems to search for support groups in your area.
Taking care of your own mental health
If you are a carer, it is vital that you also take care of your own mental health. It may be a good idea to ask your local council for a carer’s assessment. A carer’s assessment is free and provides a chance to discuss your needs with your local council to help them decide what support to give you.
What support can you get for your own mental health as a carer?
- Your GP. It is always okay to seek help, even if you are not experiencing a specific mental health problem. For more information, visit Mind’s webpage on talking to your GP.
- Talking treatments. Treatments such as counselling give you time to explore your worries and difficult feelings with a professional. You can talk about how looking after someone else affects you, without having to feel guilty for expressing your frustrations or difficulties. For more information, visit Mind’s webpage on talking treatments.
- Mental health helplines and listening services are staffed by trained people ready to listen. They won’t judge you and could help you make sense of what you’re feeling. Mind offers a list of contacts and more information on their helplines webpage.
For more information, visit the Carers Trust website