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A new report by Richmond Borough Mind for Carers Rights Day 2014 shows the impact of a caring role for families and friends supporting someone with a severe mental health problem.
More than half of families and friends surveyed said they have experienced an impact on their employment, education and volunteering, and their social situation due to their caring role. A minority of carers reported a severe impact which the report identifies is likely in turn to have a significant effect on their own health and wellbeing. The report also highlights a high demand (90%) for respite breaks and recommends providing respite for mental health carers to prevent their own care and support needs arising. At a time when mental health services nationally have experienced real term cuts in their budgets, recognising the impact on informal mental health carers becomes increasingly important.
Kim Willson, Richmond Borough Mind Carers Project Co-ordinator, said: ‘This report highlights the impact of the mental health caring role and the importance of providing respite for mental health carers. I would urge people to read the carer comments to gain a better understanding of the impact on families and friends. This is a national issue as very few areas of the country seem to offer respite to mental health carers. There is no simple solution – a range of options need to be available including services for the people they are supporting. One of the main recommendations is to provide effective social inclusion activities for people with severe mental health problems. We would like to thank Ruth Hannan from The Carers Trust for sharing findings from the national survey she conducted.”
Download the Mental Health Carers Respite Survey Report here.
Download the Mental Health Carers Respite Survey here.