One in every four carers in the UK looks after someone with a mental health problem.
If you are an important part of the support network for a relative, partner or friend who is experiencing a mental health problem, you can be called a ‘carer.’ You may not feel comfortable with this title. Some people do not recognise that they are carers, or view their role as simply looking after a loved one.
Carers play a vital role in supporting our work and achieving better outcomes for the people we care for. As important partners in our work, you can be involved in major decisions and support planning. The Care Programme Approach (CPA) is a framework we use to help us work with patients, their carers and families, to make sure that people get the specific support and treatment they need.
As well as helping you in your role as a carer we are here to support you as an individual. You may feel that you need some emotional support, someone to talk to who understands the pressures you are under, or you may need practical help on issues like financial benefits, help attending care support meetings or arranging respite care.
It is common for carers to neglect their own wellbeing, especially if they are caring full time, or trying to balance caring with their work. As a carer you are entitled to a carers’ assessment to help arrange the support you need to continue to provide care but also balance the demands of your own life.
Information for mental health carers
The Improving Carers' Experience project has produced an information booklet for mental health carers. It contains information about common mental health conditions and tips on geting help, managing day-to-day living, staying well and accessing local support in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove. You may find it useful if you are supporting, or are concerned about, a relative, partner or friend who is experiencing mental health difficulties. Download your copy below.