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Carers of people with mental health issues

It's estimated that 1.5 million people care for someone with mental ill health in the UK. Mental ill health refers to conditions that have a negative effective on the way someone thinks, feels, and acts. This covers a range of problems and conditions. including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Bulimia and anorexia
  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Personality disorder
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

These are very varied conditions, but carers for people with these conditions can share similar challenges.

'Hidden caring'

Because mental health problems are not 'seen', and the support needed can be more emotional than practical, carers often don't see themselves as carers. But you might be providing all sorts of help - emotional support, positivity, encouragement, and also quite often practical help too, like help with daily tasks when they find things over-whelming. You are a carer.

Better understanding

It can be very hard to fully understand what someone with a mental health problem is going through. But the more you understand the better you can help, and the better you will feel. There may be times when they upset you a great deal. If you can, taking time away can help.

Register as a carer here.

Useful links

The Mental Health Carers Support Group is run by our Caring for Carers team. The aim of the group is to support carers of people with mental health support needs.

Marbles Lost and Found is a website packed full of lots of information about self-help and local services.

Rethink Plymouth service offers 1:1 support, tailored to the individuals' need. We offer group support, signposting, peer-led support through our short-term community support for people affected by mental illness.

The charity Mind has lots of help and information on its website for carers and family members, generally on coping when someone in the family has mental health issues.