Mental Health Carers - The National Picture
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Mental Health Carers - The National Picture



My overview of the issues my work addresses, and our organisation\'s solutions.

My overview of the issues my work addresses, and our organisation\'s solutions.



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Mental Health Carers - The National Picture Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Mental health carers: an national overview
    • Drew Lindon
    • Policy and Development Officer
    • (January 2009)
  • 2. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
    • Who are we?
    • Set up in 1991
    • Work in partnership with a network of 144 carers centres (22 in London)
    • Principal source of direct support and services to carers (350,000 in 07/08)
    • Use our expertise to influence policy and public opinion
  • 3. Our work with mental health carers
    • All Carers Centres offer support to carers looking after someone with a mental health condition
    • 41 of our 144 Centres have specialist mental health carers support staff, who link to local social care and health services
    • Joint work with other organisations nationally - e.g. Royal College of Psychiatrists, National Treatment Agency, Mental Health Foundation
  • 4. Mental health carers: the stats
    • There are over 50,000 children and young
    • people looking after someone with a mental
    • health problem in the UK 2
    There are up to 1.5 million people in the UK caring for a relative or friend with a mental health problem 1
  • 5. This means:
    • 1 in 4 carers are mental health carers
    • 1 in every 40 people is a mental health carer 3
  • 6. Mental health carers: what do they do?
      • Advocacy – help with correspondence and bills, liaising with professionals...
      • Aid with administering medicines
      • Emotional support
      • Domestic tasks – shopping, cleaning, cooking…
      • Financial support
    Many of these tasks do not stop when the person cared for is in hospital
  • 7. Specific challenges for mental health carers
    • Specific challenges for young carers
    • (invisibility of role, impact on personal
    • and emotional development)
    Stigma of mental illness Unpredictability of conditions – incl. ‘worry when well’ Confidentiality and information sharing issues Gaps in specialist support for carer and “cared for” ( e.g. respite, day support services, transport, volunteering and employment opportunities )
  • 8. How does this affect these carers?
    • Relationships with person cared for, friends and family can suffer
    • Financial impacts – serious implications particularly if the spending of the person cared for is out of control
    • Carer’s physical health can deteriorate
    • Carer’s mental and emotional health suffers
  • 9. The external reality – the world is changing
    • The national agenda is moving
    • towards:
    • personalised care
    • shorter stays in hospital
    • more emphasis on
    • self-care .
    • Carers becoming more visible and important.
  • 10.
    • Additional funding for flexible carers breaks - £150m over 2
    • years to PCTs, plus £4m for pilot schemes
    • Ensure that short-term respite is available for carers in
    • crisis situations in each council area.
    • Reform of Carers Benefits - currently poorly targeted towards
    • most impoverished carers.
    • Funding for the creation of an Expert Carers Programme –
    • “ Caring with Confidence”
    Key actions for carers: Carers Strategy and New Deal for Carers
  • 11. Mental Health Act 2007
    • Came into force on 3 rd November 2008
    • Some welcome changes - advocacy
    • for patients, right of nearest relative to
    • request advocacy visits, safeguards
    • against children under 16 years old being treated on adult wards
    • Concerns on application of Community Treatment Orders ;
    • Mental health carers may find themselves ‘stuck in the middle’
    • between underresourced professionals and loved ones
    • BUT greater recognition of adult and young carers’ needs for
    • information and support now in Code of Practice; emphasis
    • on listening to carers’ concerns about CTOs.
  • 12. What needs to change for mental health carers?
    • All local areas must commission
    • carers services which offer
    • information, emotional support and
    • respite.
    • 2. Mental health carers are routinely
    • identified on the Care Plan, offered a Carers Assessment (includes health, recreation and work)
    • 3. Professionals minimally provide carers with sufficient information in order to care safely and effectively
    • 4. New Deal for Carers emergency respite care services provide flexible and mental health-sensitive respite
  • 13. What could make a difference immediately?
    • We need services and professionals to see carers
    • as partners in care , and recognise:
    • the extent to which carers contribute
    • This means being responsible for providing mental health carers with the necessary information and support so they can care effectively
    • that carers are experts in their area of experience
    • For better care outcomes, involve carers in training and selection of mental health staff, and commissioning of mental health services
  • 14. Find out more…