As a mental health carer, I feel honoured to be writing the first blog for West London Collaborative. I have heard quite a bit about an event regarding Carers of those using mental health services and I was interested on how such an event can impact the lives of carers.
Let me tell you more about the event which is called “Who cares for our carers?”. The event centers on a new mental health strategy called “Like Minded“, which aims to improve mental health and wellbeing across North West London. As with any mental health strategy it is very important to involve all members of the community, but unfortunately with carers it can be difficult for them to get their voices heard and have a strategy on how carers can feel included regarding their views on how they can feel supported and cared for.
You can book for the event via Eventbrite
When I mention carer, I am talking about carers who provide unpaid care and support for either a loved one in their family, friend or neighbour. Mental health carers can unfortunately be the unseen carers, because by default mental health sufferers cannot easily be recognised. One of the main reason for this is that is is hard to see any signs of suffering e.g. broken leg, arm and so on. Mental health is almost the invisible disease in the community and mental health carers are almost just invisible.
The event is on the 25th of April from 5 pm till 9:30 pm and takes place at the Lyric Theatre.
If you are a carer, especially a carer for a loved one who has a mental health condition in North West London, this event provides a good opportunity to get your voice heard. Any strategy that looks into the wellbeing, support and mental health of those suffering mental health conditions should try its best to incorporate their carers and families.
As a carer myself when someone mentions a wellbeing strategy, I feel that I want action and not more plans or things to read. I understand that carers want action now and that they want something that can support not only how they care for those with a mental health condition, but support for themselves. The problem is without any kind of strategy, it is hard to establish clear goals.
The event will bring up discussions on how the Like Minded mental health and well-being strategy will impact carers lives in North West London. I feel this is a chance to ask Important questions such as how the wellbeing strategy will recognise carers, how carers can feel confident that they are included in such a strategy. Would carers even need their own strategy? but most importantly who cares for the carers?
For far too long carers, especially mental health carers feel they are ignored and although the Like Minded strategy looks to include carers, it is important carers get a chance to understand the impact of the strategy. It is also important carers feel involved in a mental health and wellbeing strategy. This event will allow such a golden opportunity.
I also hope to produce a follow up blog post on how the event went.