Carers are people who give unpaid practical and emotional support to someone with a mental health problem or learning disability. You may be a partner, friend, relative or neighbour of any age. Caring for someone can be rewarding, but it can also be tough at times. It is important to know that there is lots of help and support on hand.
Carers who are giving, or plan to give, regular and substantial care have by law a right to a ‘carer assessment of need’. A carer’s assessment does not judge ability to care. It is a chance for carers to find out what support can be given to them, and how. Not only support in caring, but also support in looking after their own well-being. The help on hand can include information, advice and guidance, carer breaks, carer support workers, and carer support groups.
How we helpThe Carers' Team – Our Carers' Team gives carers the chance to have their own caring, physical, and mental health needs considered. The team gives support to people caring for someone aged 18-65, living in or on the boundaries of Sandwell. The support comes in many forms, ranging from giving care assessments, to providing health screening for carers, to organising social events for carers to meet one another.
How others help
There are many groups and services that can give help and support to carers. Below are listed just a few of the people you can turn to for help.
Alzheimer’s Society– the local branch provides a range of services for carers in Sandwell.
Carers Direct – Carers Direct is packed with information and advice for carers. It offers help on a variety of topics like looking after your money, looking after your health, or looking for a job.
Carers UK – Carers UK claims to be the “voice of carers”. The organisation is run by and for carers, and campaigns on behalf of carers in a variety of ways. It also offers carers practical support.
The Carers Trust - The Carers Trust work with a network of partners to provide breaks, access to information and advice, education, training and employment opportunities. Within this network are local charities whose core services are to provide trained support staff to visit carers at home and to offer short breaks by taking over the caring responsibilities. The local Sandwell Branch is Crossroads Care.
Mental Health Care – This website is for anyone providing support to someone experiencing mental illness. It contains carers’ personal stories, recent research findings, and helpful information about mental health and mental illness.
Omega Care Group - Omega Care Group is a charity organisation who support unpaid care-givers, particularly those looking after people with life-limiting or long-term health conditions. They also support former care-givers, the bereaved and the isolated frail-elderly and provide outreach activity to identify those in need of support to help raise standards in end of life care.
Rethink Carers – This is a very useful website for carers of people with severe mental illness. It provides information on illnesses, carers’ rights, financial advice and many other things.
Young Carers – This site is aimed at carers who are younger than 18. It provides advice on caring, information about who can help, and a place to read about, and talk with, other young carers.