Support for carers (with signing) - Video

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Support for carers (with signing) (Video file)

Support for carers (with signing)

Helen outlines the range of support that people caring for others with a mental illness or a learning disability can expect to receive from Oxleas, including putting them in touch with other carers and local carers' groups.

Hi, my name is Helen Dunkley and I am the Trust Carer Lead for Oxleas.

Carers are people who care for others with mental illnesses or a learning disability, usually this is family members or friends. Carers need a range of different support services, but most often they tell us that the number one thing they need is information.

When people become carers this is often their first experience of mental illness, so they need a lot of information about illnesses and treatments. They also need to know what services are available for themselves and their relatives, how these services operate, and who they can contact in a crisis or talk to if they have concerns. 

Much of this information will be told to them by their relative’s care team, but Oxleas also provides written material for carers. This includes:

·       a carer information handbook;

·       a series of information sheets about illnesses and treatments; and

·       tips on how to manage different behaviours.

A range of carers’ groups are run by Oxleas in partnership with our local boroughs. Many carers find these very helpful as they give them the opportunity to share their experiences with other people in a similar situation. Each borough also has a separate carers’ service which offers a range of services including:

  • One-to-one support
  • Advocacy for carers
  • respite or sitting services
  • befriending, counselling, complementary therapy and stress busting sessions.

Carers are entitled to a carers’ assessment, which many people find enormously helpful. This does not assess their ability to care, but rather asks them whether they wish to continue to care and what they need help with.

Young people can also be carers, caring for a parent or another adult with a disability. While helping out can help them develop skills and confidence, we need to ensure they don’t take on too much. Oxleas has information for young carers and each of our three boroughs has a young carers project where young people can get support and meet other young carers.

You can find information about carers’ groups in Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich boroughs in the Advice and Guidance section of this website.