Carers week 2023 approaches. When you start your journey providing unpaid care it can be a long journey. You might start out caring for someone with cancer, mental illness or physical health difficulties. No matter how you see it, you will starting out on a journey.
As an author and poet, I have written extensively on the journey I have travelled. I hae also written about the path where many other unpaid carers will have to walk.
It helps when former or veteran carers help guide others down that road. We need to be aware that not all carer journeys are the same, but it helps if we identify and value each other.
Below is a poem taken from my book “The Poetry book of mental health caring”. You can check out that book at the end of this blog post. I do actually have some podcasts of the poems off my website.
This poem “The Long Road” talks about how a former carer looks back down the road they have travelled. They see new people beginning their caring journey. The stop and tell those carers about that journey. This is a peer carer task, but it is so important vulnerable groups look out for each other.
Welcome readers and those who care for someone. As you might already know, not only am I an author raising awareness of carers, but I am also a poet. I find poetry an excellent way to raise awareness of social causes. A good poem can reach the hearts and minds of those trying to understand caring.
I am sure many out there are aware that carers can often remain hidden. The world of unpaid care is often carried out behind closed doors. This might not be a problem, but when the role of caring becomes stressful then we need raise awareness of the plight of unpaid carers.
I feel even when someone becomes uninvolved in caring for someone close to them, they are still in the background somewhere inquiring about the person health and wellbeing. I feel a lot of carers can be a link in that chain.
So in my 3rd book on using poetry to raise awareness of those caring for someone with mental illness, I wrote a poem called “The Hidden Link”.
Feel free to listen to the poem below. I would love to get people’s views on what they think about the poem.
You can also get my poetry book from the Amazon link below.
Hello fellow unpaid carers. Here are some more poems from my book “The Poetry book of mental health caring”.
Every so often I tend to make videos of my poetry off my YouTube Channel.
The Long Wait – Poem by Matthew McKenzie
The Poem below describes my experiences in a hospital when trying to help my mother who was suffering mental and physical health problems at the time.
The unwanted role – by Matthew McKenzie
This poem below focuses on someone becoming an unpaid carer for the first time. The poem explains from their view that they are slightly aware of the difficulties they will face, but will have to face these challenges alone.
How do I say this? – by Matthew McKenzie
The Poem below explores the struggles a carer has in understanding mental illness. He is aware of the stigma when he is trying to communicate with his daughter, but he is dealt a blow regarding his own caring duties and also to fight to sustain a relationship with his daughter.
The Triangle – by Matthew McKenzie
The poem below explains a mental health policy aimed at NHS organisations to make sure carers are included in services. The Triangle of Care has a long history and is highly sought after by mental health NHS trusts to strengthen carer strategies.
To explore more carer/mental health poems from Matthew McKenzie, you can check out the book below on Amazon.
Here are two more poems from my upcoming book “The Poetry book of mental health caring”.
The first poem focuses on wellbeing for carers who are caring for someone suffering mental illness. To be fair it does not actually have to be mental illness, but the main point is the person is thrown into becoming a carer.
The next poem is more psychological. The poem called “The Mirror” asks the carer to reflection on their identity, especially when the carer is judgemental about themselves. I certainly was very judgemental about trying to provide unpaid care and at times I still am critical.
Welcome to another blog post by carer rep, author and poet Matthew McKenzie. I have just released another poem called “Being Part of it”. As an unpaid carer I was involved in many co-production and involvement meetings, especially to help shape Health & Social care services.
Having unpaid carers and service users become involved in shaping services will help provide services that have such stakeholders in mind. There has often been criticism of where professionals design services and those services do not work out well because the patients or families and carers were not involved in such design.
At those involvement meetings, I often thought how could I express my experiences to other unpaid carers and with this poem, I now have the method to share my experiences.
Welcome to my latest poem off my poetry project for 2022. My focus is on unpaid carers who look after someone suffering mental illness. Many unpaid mental health carers up and down the country sometimes get frustrated when it comes to being heard. I myself have experienced this, although do not get me wrong. There are times when those in the mental health services can actually support and listen to families, friends and carers.
It is not always the problem of not being listen to or not being heard. Many carers can be confused about what their carer’s rights are. If mental health services are under strain then there will be situations when mental health professionals will not have time for carers and will not often remind carers of their rights.
Sometimes carers are aware that there is nothing the professional can do, but they would still like to be heard on the situation, there might even be a slight chance that something mentioned from the carer can give some hope.
Feel free to check out my poem off my YouTube channel below.
Welcome back to another blog by former unpaid mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. I am working on my carer awareness poetry for 2022. Poetry can be great for creativity, expression and even for campaigning.
I have done around 60 poems for the book I am going to release later on this year, the poetry book will contain around 150 poems.
For this particular poem, it is about a recent download of a carers assessment and my attempt at filling it in. At first I am nervous about filling in such forms because it asks such personal and thought provoking questions. After a while, I find the form gets easier to fill in, but I query is it worth filling the form.
This poem called “The Carer’s Assessment” can be views from the video below.
There will be times carer’s can’t be bothered to fill them in because they don’t get anything out from it and its engagement to carers can just be a tick-box exercise.
It’s still advisable to fill in carers assessments since it is a good way to be recorded and identified as a carer.