Researcher Emilie Wildman is now conducting research into exploring the experiences of informal carers of adults living with mental health problems, who have experienced violence from the person they care for.
If you are a carer who has experienced this and is interested in getting involved please see the poster below.
You can contact the researcher on the following details.
Welcome to the April update of the Lewisham BAME Mental Health Carers forum. This is one of the four forums that I chair in South London. Out of the four forums, this group focuses on BAME carer developments in Health and social care. The group has been going since 3 years or so. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I am running all forums via my own ZOOM account.
The invited speakers for April was Shilpa Ross who is a senior researcher at the Kings Fund policy team that works on a range of health and social care research programmes. Shilpa was invited to the forum to speak about her latest research that not enough progress has been made to address discrimination against black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff in the NHS.
Thanks for stopping by, since the release of this blog we recently had International Stress Awareness Week 2019. I wanted to write something up during that week, but unfortunately I missed the boat, I guess I have been so busy. Still, unpaid carers suffer from a lot of stress and I still want to highlight such an important issue.
What is International Stress Awareness Week?
Promoted by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA), although many other mental health organisations are free to promote it. The International Stress Management Association [ISMAUK] is a registered charity and the lead professional body for workplace and personal Stress Management, Well-being and on Performance. They usually promote sound knowledge and best practice.
International Stress Awareness Week usually runs from Monday 4 – Friday 9 November.
The theme I think for national Stress awareness week is “Resilience” which is defined as how we deal with and recover from highly pressured or stressful situations and experiences. Off my video I talk about finding resilience in great detail. So please have a watch when you can.
I have noticed a lot of mental health organisations promote how stress can effect the workplace.
Just to note, I have done a lengthy video blog on the affects of stress and how it impacts not just carers, but everyone, to view press the video below.
Every year, in the UK an estimated 17 million days are lost to stress, anxiety and depression.
Some Facts about stress
Stress is the feeling of being unable to cope as a result of too much mental or emotional pressure.
Common signs of stress can include sleeping problems, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. You may feel anxious, irritable, experience rapid thoughts and worry constantly.
Here are some quick facts, but to hear more about them, please check out my video.
1. Long-term stress can increase your risk of mental health disabilities
2. Frequent stress decreases your immune system
3. Relationships play a key role in your daily stress levels
4. The right amount of stress is beneficial, but too much is deadly.
Stress and unpaid carers
As you probably already know, I am an unpaid carer and have suffered a lot of stress in the past, even now I admit sometimes stress gets the better of me. Sometimes that is ok, but allowing stress to consume you can have devastating side effects.
I have provided a list below on how unpaid carers can suffer from stress, take note that the things mentioned are not comprehensive, but at least the most common.
1. Being overloaded in providing care can cause all sorts of stress
2. As mentioned before relationships with the ‘cared for’ can also be stressful
3. A major form of stress is the health or declining health of a ‘loved one’
4. Sometimes carers have to hold down a job, if caring becomes too much, then work performance can suffer.
5. Financial issues can be an extra form of stress for unpaid carers coping with lack of support.
6. If caring becomes difficult, this can affect sleep and eating habits, these are very stress inducing.
How does stress affect us?
Just to note, stress affects people differently, what happens to one person might not happen to another.
1. Our emotional behaviour changes, it is easier to become irritable, sad and depressed.
2. You can also feel very hot and sweat when suffering stress
3. Constant stress can also affect the body in many ways including headaches, stomach issues and blood pressure.
4. Stress can certainly affect your breathing as many begin to breath faster as their heart beat increases.
Dealing with Stress to find Resilience
Below I have listed things that can help you find resilience in combating stress. For more information, please check out the video.
Give yourself enough time to do things, planing can go a long way.
Go for a walk in the park.
Jog or find other ways to do some exercise
Listen to music.
Pet therapy can be useful. Connecting with pets.
** Recognize the Signs (number one rule).
Stay Connected with others
Talk to Your Doctor or Health Care Provider
Take a yoga class, or give yourself one.
Take warm, relaxing baths.
Water and admire your plants.
It is important to look after your health, especially if someone is relying on you. If you do not recognise or deal with stress levels, then stress will deal with you. Your health will become a major factor in supporting others, let alone yourself. Find out more about stress by visiting the ISMA site on https://www.isma.org.uk/
Welcome back to another blog post from an unpaid mental Health carer. Just a day ago of this blog post, I attended and spoke at the South London & Maudsley trust Psychology and Psychotherapy conference 2019. It’s theme for this year was on involving families and carers. I was excited to be part of the event to get my thoughts out to the audience and on reflection, I felt I pulled no punches. With over 20 years of unpaid carer experience, I have seen and experienced quite a lot in regards to carer involvement and I expect there is more to come. One day I should write a book about it, but this is probably a very long way off.
Still, I feel a lot is at stake and there are times we have to be passionate because we are dealing in peoples lives, since that is the nature of business. Connecting with others at a deep, but difficult level. However when things work out, the rewards pay very high because we can reuse what we have learnt. Yes, I am talking about psychology and psychotherapy. I am no expert in these subjects, but being involved at the NHS trust and in the community for long, I suspect that I have been exposed to such powerful, wonderful and mysterious methods.
Its been a while since I have made another video. This one is back on the psychiatry field. In this video I have introduced a list of notable figures who have made an impact on sub fields of psychiatry.
I have made a video which can be viewed below showing the top 70 contributors to different fields within psychiatry. It was not possible for me to include anymore due to time and length of the video.
The video includes names such as :-
Carl Gustav Jung
Welcome back to another blog post. This one is different from my usual posts although I do stay within the topic of mental health. This blog post looks into the challenges of global mental health. I decided to make a video focusing on the challenges of several countries.
In the video I looked at the following countries mental health systems.
Brazil and many more other countries.
Unfortunately since I am examining how such mental health systems work within this video, the video is very long. However you can always choose to watch or listen to it in parts.
You can see the video below.
I was often intrigued as to what caused certain mental health scandals in some countries and I discuss them in some detail within the video. E.g. why a minister resigned in South Africa, what caused Japan to overhaul its mental health system, the use of restraints and other difficult topics around the world.
Within the video I also look at the World Health Organisation suicide ranking index for each country. Some countries have managed to decrease the overall amount of suicides, while for other countries this still remains a challenge.
As a note, the video gives a basic perception of global mental health, however I hope you enjoy it. I hope to do another video listing more countries at a later date.
Happy New Year!! Welcome to another blog post from a mental health carer. This time I am going to write about what could help you for 2017.
I do not know if 2016 has been a good or bad year for you, but what better than to have a clean start for 2017. On this blog post I will provide 10 basic mental health well-being tips that could be useful for a new years resolution.
If you want to see the video version. Please click below
Welcome to another blog post by carer Matthew Mckenzie. For this blog post I want to express my views on involvement as a governor. As you might already know by now, I govern a large NHS mental health trust, that being SLaM or South London & Maudsley.
Hello all and welcome to another blog post by Mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. I have decided this time to make another video on the timeline of psychiatry since this blog site sometimes examines the field of psychiatry and so on.
The video brings up major events in the field of psychiatry and some events in psychology, most if not all events did change the field of psychiatry, but unfortunately I could not include everything and I am sorry if I missed out a particular event.