Caring for someone with mental health problems

Some caring responsibilities aren’t always apparent to those looking in and can sometimes remain hidden because of stigma and lack of understanding. If you look after someone with a mental health problem it can be hard, but you are not alone.

It’s important to talk to someone about your caring responsibilities and open up to a trusted friend, family member, manager at work, or teacher.

Your Mental Health

Your own mental health may be affected by your caring responsibilities so it’s important to contact your GP and tell them you are a carer and if you haven’t already, contact us and ask about a carers assessment so that you can access the support and information that’s right for you.

There are also lots of organisations that may be able to help you:

Being a carer can often be stressful and have an impact on your mental wellbeing.

The Steps 2 Wellbeing Service is a free, confidential, NHS service for people aged 18 and over. They provide support for people registered at a Dorset GP surgery. They offer a range of treatments and can give support over the telephone, face-to-face, in groups or online.

North Dorset and West Dorset 0300 790 6828
Weymouth and Portland 0300 790 6828
Purbeck and East Dorset 0300 123 1120

Living Life to the Full is a free, online course which teaches techniques to help you manage stress and anxiety on a day-to-day basis.

Carers Trust have some good mental health factsheets.

Rethink has advice on supporting someone with a mental illness. They also have carer support groups in the following areas:

  • Blandford Forum – Ren Griffiths 07436 816039
  • Dorchester –  contact Olivia Stephen – olivia.stephen@rethink.org or 07436 790489
  • Weymouth and Portland – contact Ren Griffiths 01305 262771 or 07436 816039

As well as a Dorset-wide phone number 01305 262771.

Mind has advice on supporting someone with mental health problems.

The Recovery Education Centre offers a wide-range of courses which focus on recovery and wellbeing across Dorset. Courses are free to attend and are open to adults age 18+ who access mental health services, their supporters, family and friends. To find out more call 01202 584478 / 07787 836708 or email dhc.recovery.educationcentre@nhs.net

Dorset Mental Health Carers Support Line – if you are feeling stressed, need to talk, want to be listened to and understood speak to a peer carer, someone who has been in the same place and understands. Contact 01305 340045 or email joyford@dorsetmentalhealthforum.org.uk

The Leonardo Trust offer a free counselling service for unpaid carers in Dorset giving carers the opportunity to focus on themselves and talk through their stresses and strains.

The Mental Health Foundation have advise on Mental Health in Later Life.

Time to Change is an initiative set up to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and to encourage people to talk about their mental health.

There are some great tools and advice from the cool people at The Blurt Foundation, with Blurt Alerts for your day to day life.

Bipolar UK offer a telephone based peer mentoring service that will give you the chance to talk one-to-one with someone else who has supported someone with bipolar. To find out more contact mentoring@bipolaruk.org or ring 0333 323 4458

Last but not least there’s online support for young people on Kooth’s website.