James Baker, Senior Team Leader for Mental Health at Care for the Carers

As you may or may not know, Monday the 10th of October is World Mental Health Day. The objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilise efforts to support mental health services.

The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders focusing on mental health issues to talk about their work and to try to establish what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

Mental health problems are common, with 1 in 6 adults in the UK reporting declining mental health around concerns such as depression and anxiety, and close to 551,000 people in England with more severe mental illnesses (SMI), such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. Problems are often hidden, stigma is still widespread, and many people are not receiving support to access appropriate services.

Together with substance misuse, mental illness accounts for 21.3% of the total burden of disease in England. Poor mental health is estimated to carry an economic and social cost of £105 billion a year in England alone.

Mental health problems and suicide are preventable, and the promotion of good mental health will positively affect physical health and many other aspects of our lives.

During these testing times, it is important for us all to recognise and acknowledge that our mental health is vital to our wider health and wellbeing.

For everyone struggling, it is important to remember that you’re not alone and that help is available. Care for the Carers and our partners have a number of approaches to support you to promote positive mental health.

We run an ongoing program of groups and activities to promote inclusion and reduce social isolation. We are always working hard to provide a peer support network of fellow carers and provide a safe place to discuss any concerns you might have, with sign posting to relevant services to support you on your journey.

We also work closely with many organisations such as Sussex Partnership, the local authorities, as well as a wide range of 3rd sector partners. We have developed a broad network of carers so you can be sure to feel supported in your caring role. Please feel free to contact us here at Care for the Carers anytime, whether it’s your first or 50th call!

“I have been supported by this project and it is making a real difference to my quality of life and experience as a Carer for someone with a serious mental illness…helping me to re-build my confidence and self-esteem…I am stretching myself by trying new activities and It has helped me take managed breaks from my caring role and interact with others who understand, and allowed me to focus on myself in safe and supportive settings, and have some fun. This all helps me in my role as a Carer as it helps energise me, means I am less isolated, and keeps my motivation up” – Mrs JE (carer)

 

“The care for the carers clinics that have been set up to run with Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, [and] adult mental health services are really welcomed. They have been an excellent resource which have provided a listening ear, support and signposting for our carers of people using our services. It is helpful for carers to have someone independent of our organisation they can talk to, and then common themes be fed back as required. It also means carers can get support from an identified source as a patient moves between our services if necessary, giving continuity. They have also been a fabulous resource for staff to gain more information about carer awareness and resources too” – Mrs TB – Occupational Therapy lead for Sussex Partnership

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