Caring for someone with a mental health condition can affect carers’ own mental health and wellbeing, according to Norfolk Carers.
Carers often face particularly stressful situations in their lives, such as a deterioration in their loved-one’s health and managing the changing nature of their relationship. Tim Allard is Executive Manager for Norfolk Carers Support, who provide services to family carers said:
“We often support carers who are in complex situations and also coping with their own, or other people’s mental health conditions. For example we were recently contacted by a carer who is looking after eight children, a husband with mental health condition and a parent with dementia. In another case, a carer contacted us because she was concerned for her adult daughter with schizophrenia and a drug addiction and whose behaviour when ill was challenging, particularly towards her younger brother. The daughter had been sectioned and the carer wanted advice on the discharge process and her rights as a parent/carer. We were able to provide information about care after hospital, advise the carer on strategies for better managing her reaction to daughter’s challenging behaviour and we helped her to get help in a monthly carer support group.”
And Mr Allard encouraged carers to get support at an early stage rather than wait until there’s a crisis before seeking help to cope. He added: