Carers and The Lonely Path

Road through the yellow sunflower fieldHello again, it’s has been a while since I blogged and I just think it is time to write up another post. This site is here to raise awareness of carers and mental health. I am not an expert in mental health problems, but I am a carer of someone using the services and I feel that it is so important to raise awareness of carers. Unfortunately carers are not all alike.

When I talk about carers, I am not talking about care workers, they are paid to do a job. I am talking about people who care for a family member, friend, loved one and so on. I am talking about those who care because they feel compelled to care or they care because they cannot turn away or perhaps there comes a time that they cannot cope with their frail partner. We should also note that we should not stigmatize former carers since we all have our limits.

Also be aware that not all carers are the same, we have those who care for old aged persons, carers who care for those suffering physical or mobility issues. Special needs carers, young carers, carers who are very unwell themselves and mental health carers. I fit in the mental health carer bracket and my aim on this particular post will not be an easy topic.

Its not as easy as it seems

The title says it all, when I started out becoming a carer, I felt a rush of so many emotions. I just did not know where to turn and what to ask. I felt no matter what I did, there was something I was missing, something that I did not plan for. At any moment things could collapse and my world would turn out for the worst. Even now, I can fully accept that caring is not as easy as it seems.

Why would I want to raise such a point? There still is, unfortunately a rumor that caring for someone suffering mental health issues is fairly easy. I mean, all they have to do is take their medication and all will be fine right? The truth could not be further than it can be. Mental health carers struggle to hold that relationship other carers can manage, this is because mental health carers need to be fairly skilled at negoiation, counselling, being aware of the small detail and so on. If a mental health carer looses that connection to their loved one, then the risk is that when someone becomes vulnerable due to falling unwell, then the carer is not there to lessen the damage to the service users life.

Starting out on the Journey

Now that I know caring is not as easy as it seems. I want to point out that those who are beginning to take on the role as a carer need to consider quite a few things. New carers must leave space where they can ask about support for themselves. Caring can be difficult even if you have planned in advance the tasks you need to do, but with new carers, they are not fully sure what they are doing.

Newer carers will spend most times worrying about what is going to happen to the person they are care for. It won’t be long till such carers earn sleepless nights worrying about their future and how they are going to support their love one. Some carers are lucky enough to have friendly neighbours, friends & family or even a social network to help keep such carers welcomed and supported, but if you are a lone carer like myself, you will spend.

The anxiety

Its all about wondering and not knowing whats going to happen, one day your loved one is doing fine and then there is that period where you just dont know what is going to happen. The person you care for is going under bad patch, they are suffering through the dark days of mental health.

As a carer you try hard to reach them and tell them everything is going to be ok, but within you there is some anxiety, we can just never be too sure, but we can always try and prepare. It’s just the anxiety, carers cannot always stay home and monitor their loved one’s health, but when a carer does have to go out then they start to worry about how things are for who they are supporting or caring for.

At times we are still alone

Carers can get support in a number of ways, that being carers groups, therapy, speaking to other friends and family, speaking to their doctor and even getting support from the mental health services. Resting or relaxing, our minds stay with us, all that carers have gone though and all that we have done, we are still on our own. We still have to cope with our choices. The path is lonely, but it has to be walked, there is no turning back unless we take a different path.

It is a path, it is a journey

As a carer, we have choices, we can continue to care or walk away, perhaps we can even rest, but no matter our choices, we are on a journey and there is no telling where carers will end up. We can mark our journey so other carers can understand what another carer went through, but it is a journey all carers have to take.

Most times the path is uphill, a long hard struggle, then the path diverts downhill and splits into many path’s full of difficult choices. Pay now or pay later, which path can a carer take? Is the decision truly the carers? Or are carers forced into a decision which they may or may not regret. It’s important us carers read the signs, maybe we just might make the right choices on the journey.

Sticking with it

Although the path is lonely, we need to stick with it. What I mean is that us carers should not make rash decisions, we should not throw it all away and blame ourselves. We need to stick with our choices unless there is a good informed decision to change course. Infact changing course on the path is fine, but giving up on everything is not recommended. We need to look after ourselves, look after our loved ones

Take note of the signs!!

No matter where you turn on your journey, no matter where you look or even if you get lost, take note! Record your journey and look at the sign posts. Carers sometimes do want to tell other carers their story, they do want to point out the long and difficult journey they have undertaken. Carers like ourselves must listen carefully and take note, because we are all on this journey, but it is a lonely journey to take.

Movies about the Caring role


Welcome back to another blog post by mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. It has been a while since I last wrote about mental health & Caring, this is due to my role as a carer. I have been busy working on videos and for this particular blog I will attach the video later down the post.

As you know, I tend to write quite a bit about caring and the carers role, I feel carers need to get as much awareness as possible, but you can only do so much to raise the awareness of the caring role through blog posts, talking to others and campaigning. There should be other means and this is what this particulate blog post will focus on.

Another way to learn about the caring role is through the media, some people might be able to catch something on the news about the plight of carers, but its also possible to watch a film or movie about the caring role.

I have created a video showing a list of films that show some examples on what carers go through, some movies are dramatic with serious content, other films are humorous and there are plenty of films that can be light-hearted as well as heartbreaking.

Films can offer an escape from reality, but they can also offer some education. I am not much of a book worm myself, but watching a movie can help me learn much more than delving into a book for some hours. Perhaps it depends how I feel at the time.

Of course its important to state that books about carers have their place and if you have the time and focus then there is no problem picking up books about carers and the caring role. Maybe I should compile a list of books worth reading up on.


When I was drawing up a list of movies regarding carers, I did notice quite a few on the list focus on families, so it does not always have to be about the carers role. Carers are sometimes part of the family unit, which means drawing on relationships and family conflicts. I am not ignoring friends or neighbours, One movie does focus on friends taking up the caring role and this would be “Reign Over Me”.

I have also seen some of the movies that sprung to mind regarding carers and their loved ones. A good film was “My left foot” and also “Benny and Joon”. The next movie I would like to see would be “The Judge”.

It was unfortunately that when I compiled the video list of films that I just could not include more great films, but if you ever get the chance, take some time and watch some of these movies, it would be great to hear your comments or reviews.

World suicide prevention day 2016

World Globe Maps

Welcome to another one of my blog posts. This blog post is helping to raise awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day. I am not going to pull any punches, suicide can be one of the most devastating things to happen to anyone, not just the person taking the action, but also their families, especially those who are trying to care for something going through mental torment or mental health issues.

World Suicide Prevention Day happens on the 10th of September every year. It is championed by The International Association for Suicide Prevention of (IASP) and also the World Health Organization otherwise known as (WHO). IASP helps to raise awareness on the following.

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The carers story

smallerWelcome to another carer blog post. My blog site works to raise the awareness of mental health carers, that being unpaid carers/caregivers looking after or supporting someone suffering mental distress. The website also tries to raise awareness of mental health, charities and their events.

So this time i want to focus how important it is to take time to listen to carers stories. Listening to how a person became a carer can allow us to relate on a certain level regarding their caring journey. Obviously there is no way a person can relate 100% to any carer, only at a certain level as in sympathizing or recognizing a carer when you see someone in a stressful caring situation.

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De Frene Summer Festival 2016

Welcome to another blog post from Acaringmind blogger Matthew Mckenzie. On Saturday 20th of August, I took a trip over to Sydenham Gardens who were hosting their De Frene Summer Festival from 1 till 5 pm.


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A celebration of Peer Support


Welcome to another blog post from mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. On this blog I want to raise awareness of peer support. As you know Carers struggle to provide support and care for those suffering mental health distress.  We also can have psychiatrists, care coordinators and therapists who may feel distant from those going through a difficult time.

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Volunteering as a carer

coverWelcome to another blog post from mental health carer in South London Matthew Mckenzie. Now as you can guess from my blogsite, I keep myself fairly busy, even though I am carrying out support and care for a loved one. Throughout my years of experience as a mental health carer, I know there are many things I can share in order to help others. Most of the time I give my views at meetings, focus groups or committees. So if there is a way I can help, I will certainly give it a try.

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