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those recovering from mental illness need help from those around them.
In this section we will shortly be giving help and guidance for family
and friends, and carers.
you a Carer?
A carer is anyone who spends time and energy looking after (in an unpaid
capacity) a friend, relative, neighbour or spouse who is ill or disabled.
This may be a full-time activity or as little as keeping a regular eye
on someone. You may not think of yourself as a carer because you undertake
your tasks out of love or friendship. Many carers do not recognise themselves
as such and therefore do not always seek information or know where to
look for further help.
own needs as a Carer
It is essential for a carer to be aware of the need to look after their
own health and mental well being. Carers are vulnerable to poor health
and depression. Regular breaks from caring are advisable. Isolation can
be a major problem. It is important for carers to maintain and cultivate
connections outside the home.
As part of
the Care Programme Approach (CPA), the mental health services are in a
position to meet the needs of carers more effectively than in the past.
The CPA Care Co-ordinator in the community, or primary nurse on a ward,
has the role of identifying carers in each case, and then talking to them
to see what they need. You may need information, time booked with a psychiatrist,
support through carers’ selfhelp groups, or professional advice,
amongst other things.
Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 you are entitled to an assessment
of your own needs as a carer if you are providing regular and substantial
care and the person you care for may be eligible for help with their social
care needs. (This right exists whether or not the person you care for
is on the CPA.)
changes recently to the Carers' support service throughout Cambridgeshire,
and details are on this leaflet.
A carer’s assessment is an opportunity to look at how being a carer
is affecting you. The assessment may lead to a range of services being
provided to you, to help you carry on in your caring role. These might
include: information and advice, for example on local mental health services
or types of treatment, discussion about helping you have a break (either
a regular break during the week or a longer break through the provision
of alternative care and support for the person you care for). It might
also be possible to request financial assistance through the Carer’s
Grant, where a particular item or service could make a difference in helping
you to continue to care.
If you are
a carer then investigate "The
Carers' Assessment" as it may be of benefit to you.
survey by Carers UK has found that carer's are more likely to suffer poor
health than the rest of the population and that mental illness is more
common when carers cannot get a break from the demands of their role.
worries were blamed as the cause of much distress and a large number of
people had to cease work and became financially worse off in order to
care, with a significant number of these carers having to cut back on
food and struggling to pay essential bills.
pointed to a lack of support and information for carers, particularly
where money is concerned. Many of those entitled to benefits are not aware
of their right to a carer's assessment, which is one of the main gateways
to support. A staggering £660 million in carers' benefits go unclaimed
by some 300,000 carers.
Rights Guide is produced by Carers UK and gives advice on support and
benefits. To obtain a copy contact:
- 25 Glasshouse Yard
London EC1A 4JT
Tel: 020 8880 8125
Helpline - 0808 808 7777
UK (Hunts Branch)
6 Oak Drive
Cambs PE29 7HN
Tel: 01480 420615
The Hunts branch offers information, befriending, social events, support
groups, newsletters, emergency card
0845 767 8000 (local rate)
Open 6pm - 11pm every day or you can email email@example.com
Offer support mainly for carers but also service users in crisis situations;
can provide information on local services, treatment options, etc.
Parents Information Service 0800 018 2138
Mondays 10am-1pm, Tuesdays 1-4pm, Wednesdays 1-4pm and 6-8pm, Thursdays
1-4pm, Fridays 10am-1pm
Provide information and advice for anyone concerned about a child or
young person's mental health
Guide to Rough Times
This is a guide for young people in Cambridgeshire, their parents, carers,
friends and family... how to look after your emotional well-being when
times are difficult, and what to do when you may need some extra help...
Royal Trust Peterborough Carers Centre
for carers in Peterborough
Disability Information Service
Mental Health Handbook 2008
Updated 6 October