Tag Archives: carers

Why you care

Mother comforts her teen daughterIf you are a non paid carer of someone suffering from mental illness, there will be times that you question yourself on why you care. Especially during the toughest part of a crisis. It might be that you constantly fear loosing that person through an eating disorder, addiction or psychotic episode. It may be that you are having difficultly getting your point across to mental health professionals especially when the NHS is in its time of crisis.

You may question not only the reason why you care, but question your own well being.

Being a non-paid carer is vital not only for the person being cared for, but for the community. Each community thrives on people want to help each other out, after all isn’t that how communities work? We share all things in common, we all want to get along and wish the best for each other. It is unfortunate that life is not always fair, there will be that special someone struck down with mental illness that non-paid carers would have to fight for.

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Carers would like some assistance especially if they are struggling to make ends meet, it need not always be financial assistance, but recognition and hearing the carer can go a long way to improving engagement with the family.

I have been through the situation many times on if I was making the right decision, especially if I am having to try block my loved one’s decision or advocate for them, which might not always be in their interest. However I know in the long run, it would make big difference. I know in the long run it showed I really cared and that everything would turn out alright. My efforts as of this time did pay off.

Still there are many carers of those suffering from mental illness who still doubt themselves. Non-paid carers can be up against a mountain of red tape, lack of information, misunderstandings, lack of support, failing relationships and mental/physical turmoil themselves. It is true the mentally unwell person is getting the worst of it, but the carer struggle should not be ignored or discounted.

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There are carers out there who can speak their mind and getting things sorted out quickly, but the majority of carers silently cope and continue on until they reach that breaking point. If you as a non-paid carer question why you are caring for someone close who is unwell, just think this to yourself, you do this because “YOU CARE”

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Southwark Mental Health Carers Forum August 2017

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This is a update from the new Southwark Mental Health Carers forum for July. The Southwark Mental Health Carers forum took place on August the 31st over at Southwark Carers. Yes, the forum has moved from the Maudsely hospital to down the road where Southwark Carers is based.

This is the Second mental health carers forum to take place for Southwark and we had some interest carers attend this forum who also attended the carers support group. Since the forum was fairly new, I presented on updates which occurred the previous month, that being July.

 

To see the video of the forum report, click below

We are looking to run the forum every last Friday of the month. I presented what the forum is about, regarding that

  • It can be difficult for Carers in Southwark have an idea on Mental Health services and influencing them.
  • There has not been a Mental Health forum for some years, although there are Mental Health carer support groups.
  • Mental Health carers need some empowerment in their role.
  • Services have suffered from cuts, carers need to act in order to support everyone.

Mental Health Foundation are working to develop a series of pilot programmes on with The aim is to improve mental health wellbeing for all.

Mental Health and Wellbeing – Strategy patient engagement event where Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Southwark Council wish to improve mental health and wellbeing across the borough

Plus talking about the upcoming CarersUK AGM and the South London & Maudsley AGM.

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Next we had a presentation from Ana who is the co-chair of the forum about her involvement at South London & Maudsley. We also discussed the importance of attending carers support groups

Lastly, Carer support worker Lillian spoke about the definition of a carer.

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The next Southwark MH Carers forum will be on 29th of September.

Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum August 2017

Here is the update for the Lewisham Mental Health Carers forum for August 2017. This is one of the older mental health carer forums in south London, the carers forum has been running for more than a year. Of course, When I say “Mental Health Carer”, I mean someone who is caring unpaid for a relative, friend or neighbour suffering from some form of mental illness.

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The Care Act 2014

care-act-2014Welcome to another blog post. This time I want to focus on the Care Act. The Care Act 2014 is a major piece of legislation to put unpaid carers wellbeing as a priority. Carers have faced hardship and lack of identification regarding their needs for a long time.

When I talk of unpaid carers, I am talking about those who are caring for a loved one, relative, close friend or even neighbour. The Care Act 2014 heavily focuses on those who are WILLING to care and tries to avoid the casual carer. Unpaid carers go through so much and there are unfortunately still major problems with the Care Act.

The main focus for the Care Act is that

– Carers are entitled to a carer assessment
– Puts carers on an equal footing with the cared for
– Increases identification of the carer needing support

If you have the time to watch the video I have made explaning some of the basic parts of the Care Act 2014, then please do so by clicking on the video below.

The video covers the following

  • The main focus for the Care Act.
  • What carers need support on.
  • Problems with the care act.
  • What you or your family can do regarding carer assessments.
  • Local Authorities responsibilities.
  • How carer needs are provided.
  • What happens if you refuses an assessment?
  • Care and support plans.
  • Safeguarding.
  • Independent advocacy.

Although I mention that the Local Authorities have responsibilites, so do health boards, mental health trusts, housing officers, social workers, assessors and so on.

The Care Act can be a major force for carers like myself up and down the country, but it is only as good if carers or carer advocates do not know their rights. There are those who will take every chance they can get to ignore the Care Act and misuse their powers to prey on the vulnerable and when I mean vulnerable, it is not just the carer alone, but also the cared for. Still not every carer is an angel and there are safeguarding issues in some families, but as it stands the Care Act looks to prevent such crisis before they happen.

Tips from mental health survivor on caring

coverWelcome everyone and I am hoping you have had a good weekend. Today’s topic is another collaboration. This collaboration is with Alex from her Youtube channel “The truth about mental illness”. We decided to present on the importance of caring for someone suffering mental ill health.

There are situations where those with lived experience do not get support from a close relative or carer. There are those who feel carers are not essential. Each situation is complex and there is not often a right answer, but if someone suffering mental ill heath can get support from a carer (e.g. someone in the family or friend), then the outcomes usually tend to be better.

Living with mental illness can be challenging enough and having to go through mental ill health by oneself can be overwhelming. So I was glad to hear that Alex who is a mental health survivor wanted to present on how her mother provided support for her.

Alex promotes mental health experiences and well-being off her Youtube channel, it is worth a look to get her views, but before you check out her videos. I hope you could view the video we collaborated with below.

Alex spoke about important caring and support tips regarding how carers may have to judge the situation by gut feelings. There will be times when a carer has to assess how to provide care and support. It can be almost walking like eggshells if a carer crowds the “caree”. Alex explains this well in the video.

The collaborated video also looks into how a carer’s experiences can be vital in providing care and support, plus we look at some other tips which could be important to both the and service user or carer’s journey.

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I hope you enjoy the video and blog and hope to see you next time when I take on an immense project in which I examine different types of therapies.