| Edition 17 | December 2013 | www.homegroup.org.uk
| https://bhammhcarer.homegroup.org.uk |
Stonham Home Group would
like to ensure that our clients are
at the heart of everything we do.
If you would like to receive this
pack in another format e.g. large
print, on tape or in Braille, please
telephone the Carers Support
0121 380 4949, or email
We’d absolutely love to hear from you.
The pack is also available to download at:
Backdated Information Packs
Send your photos, stories &
artwork to us at…
Birmingham Mental Health
Carers Support Service,
Unit 3, Holt Court North,
Heneage Street West,
Birmingham Science Park,
Positive mental health group
pals contact details
Young carers day
STaR service details
Concerns of young carers
Buzz guide—useful numbers
Franfurt Christmas market
How many carers in the uk
Issues facing mental health
LGBT Carers forum
Medication for mental illness
Triangle of care
Self harm. Personality disorder
Mental health charities uk
Festive period & mental health
Football & mental health
Carers UK advice line
The library project
Are you suited to being a carer?
Headway - Aquarius
Websites for carers
10 things to do
Poster childrens centre, HUB
PMHG Christmes party poster
Carers groups continued
Carers groups continued
Fire safety checks
To report a hate crime
Carers feedback sheet
Positive Mental Health
Meeting dates for 2013
Come and join one of the biggest
Mental Health networking meetings
in the Midlands, every month! Just
turn up – no need to book.
Meetings include guest speakers,
information table, light refreshments
and a chance to chat and catch up.
Thursday 19 December – 2.30pm to 4.30pm
PALS customer relations
(Patient Advice & Liaison Service)
Can provide information on a range of
mental health matters, and liaison with all
Monday to Friday
8am to 8pm
0800 953 0045
The group is open to anyone with an interest
in promoting a greater awareness of mental
health issues across the communities of
Birmingham and Solihull.
This is your chance to share information, news
and views among statutory agencies, voluntary
sector organisations, users and carer groups.
Everyone is welcome to this lively meeting which
includes guest speakers, information stall, light
refreshments and a chance to chat and catch up
The group meets at the Friends Institute, 220
Moseley Road, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0DG.
Buses route 50 operates to the door of the
Friends Institute every few minutes from Moor
Street, Queensway, Birmingham City Centre.
Inner circle route 8 is a short walk from the
Please note that the PALS team is NOT a
medical team. If you have an immediate
health problem please contact NHS Direct
(0845 46 47) or your GP
Before using any of the contacts, information or
resources in this Information Pack, you must
check it for safety/reliability/appropriateness.
Advice in this pack is intended for guidance only,
and is not a substitute for professional advice.
Stonham cannot accept any responsibility for
loss or liability occasioned as a result of any
person acting or refraining from acting on
information contained in this pack. A lot of the
material in this Information pack has been
sourced from the internet.
If you would like to read any
of our previous Information
Packs please click on the
please click on the links below:
Alternatively you can type:
which will take you to our website,
there you can print, read or download
the packs for your information.
& L ee
Sunday 3rd November Lee, Christina & Sydney met up for a trip to Malthouse
Stables Outdoor Activity Centre in Tipton, for rock climbing, archery and team
games were the young carers verses the staff from Stonham; our young carers
won of course.
The STaR Service support and time to
recover from mental
What is the STaR Service?
The STaR Service stands for ‘support, time
and recovery’. We work with people with
mental health difficulties to:
• help them achieve their full potential
by taking part in activities
• have more choice and control over the
way they receive support.
How can I get the STaR Service?
The STaR Service is available to people
with mental health difficulties who live in
If you have mental health difficulties and
you would like support from the STaR
Service, a social care worker needs to
carry out a social care assessment with
you. You can ask for an assessment by
phoning your nearest mental health social
• South Birmingham on 0121 678 2830
• East and North Birmingham on 0121
• Central Birmingham on 0121 685 7628.
What does the STaR Service offer me?
Our STaR Service gives you the
opportunity to explore your own aims
and plans with experienced and skilled
workers, who will help you deal with
your mental health difficulties.
We can help you:
• work out what your aims and
• develop an action plan
• get involved in new activities and
• think about the progress you are
We can help you:
• take part in group work which can
help you build up your confidence
and self esteem
• develop your own support group and
• work with volunteers to run drop-in
sessions and groups for other people
with mental health difficulties.
More information and contact details
For more information about the STaR
Service, please contact us.
Support, Time and Recovery Team
Main Street Resource Centre
86 Main Street
Phone: 0121 773 2922
Our service is available Monday to
Thursday from 8.45am to 5.15pm, and
Friday from 8.45am to 4.15pm.
Concerns of Young Carers
Identifying Young Carers
Young carers are not a well-defined group,
and in fact the only real commonality
between them all is that they are under the
age of 18 and look after a family member
who suffers from physical or mental ill health.
The care such a young person provides can be
almost anything, from household chores to
personal care, medical care to translation or
interpretation services. Often young carers
live in the same household as the relative for
whom they care, such as the case of a child
caring for a parent or a teen caring for a
sibling, though they could live in separate
dwellings but provide care for close relatives
such as grandparents, aunts or uncles.
Concerns for Young Carers
There are many concerns for young carers
who may not live balanced lives as a result of
their caring activities. Many adults worry that
Assume inappropriate responsibilities for
Take on too many responsibilities with
Lose out on childhood or teenage years by
assuming the responsibilities of an adult.
Become awkward or inexperienced
socialising with others their own ages.
Suffer at school due to lack of
concentration, energy or enthusiasm.
Find their hopes for the future curtailed
due to feeling responsible for others’ care.
Shun hobbies, sports or other leisure
activities as frivolous or unnecessary.
Suffer physically, mentally or
emotionally from added
Stresses of Young Carers
Many young carers also find that they have
stresses and concerns associated with their new
roles, though some may be unwilling to
acknowledge them for fear that they are viewed
as weak, unable to cope or even somehow
disrespectful to the loved one for whom they are
caring. Many young carers may worry about their
loved ones, their schoolwork, their friends and
romantic relationships and needing assistance
with any aspect of their lives. Some may even
worry that by disclosing their caring activities or
status as a carer that their lives will be adversely
impacted and so choose to remain quiet about
assistance they may need.
Support for Young Carers
Young carers may find a great deal of acceptance
and support from other young carers, such as
through a local council support group or a wider
Young Carers Project. Such young people may
also find that teachers, home link workers,
friends, medical professionals including a school
nurse, and other relatives can all provide support
and help access greater assistance as needed.
Family friends, parents of their own friends,
members of the clergy, coaches and other
trusted adults may also be able to provide
support for young carers who need it.
Young carers take on responsibilities that many
of their contemporaries never need worry about.
Identifying young carers, exploring typical
concerns for this group, acknowledging the stress
of these young people and find out more about
support for young carers can all help them
achieve a more balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Carers UK Birmingham have some new dates for your
diaries this year for some wonderful new upcoming
events and some of the usual favourites. If you would
like more details about dates, times, locations of then
please read on.
Carers Rights Day Event – Friday 29th November
10.30am start at the United Reformed Church,
Brassington Avenue in Sutton Coldfield
Carers UK Christmas Meal – Saturday 7th December
12.30pm – 4.00pm at the Quality Inn, Hagley Road,
We would be glad to see as many people of possible at
any of these events so if you need any more details
then please call Carers UK Birmingham - 0121 355 1006
The all-new Solihull Christmas Market opens with 40 stunning,
traditional stalls offering a wonderful range of gifts including candles,
jewellery, hand-made gifts, decorations and wooden toys. An
outdoor bar will tantalise the taste buds with the delicious aroma of
Gluhwein and there will be plenty of traditional foods to sample in
the square too.
The market will be open from:
10am -9pm Thursday-Saturday.
0121 285 1370
Young carers are children who help look after a
member of the family who is sick, disabled or has
mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or
Their day to day responsibilities often include:
providing nursing and personal care
giving emotional support.
With so many adult responsibilities, young carers
often miss out on opportunities that other
children have to play and learn. Many struggle
educationally and are often bullied for being
‘different’. They can become isolated, with no relief
from the pressures at home, and no chance to
enjoy a normal childhood. They are often afraid to
ask for help as they fear letting the family down or
being taken into care.
Young carer facts
• The average age of a young carer is 12.
• Young carers are children and young people
under 18 who provide regular and on-going
care and emotional support to a family
member who is physically or mentally ill,
disabled or misuses substances.
• The 2001 census identified 175,000 young
carers in the UK, with 13,000 caring for
more than 50 hours per week. The 2011
census identified 178,000 young carers in
England and Wales alone; an 83% increase
in the number of young carers aged 5 to 7
years and a 55% increase in the number of
children caring who are aged 8 to 9 years.
Services working with
Barnardo’s runs 15 services across the UK
which work to support young carers and their
families in a variety of ways:
Helping the family to find the support
they need, and are entitled to, from local
services, so that a child’s caring
responsibilities can be reduced.
• Supporting young carers to use local
services such as sports clubs, support
groups, and health centres.
• Providing advice and emotional support
through counselling and drop-in sessions
• Liaising with schools so that teachers can
better support their students
• Providing opportunities for young carers
to take a break from their caring
responsibilities, spend time with other
young carers and share experiences
Providing opportunities for young carers to
learn more about their parent’s illness or
What is Filter?
Filter is how cultural organisations in Birmingham show children and young
people up to the age of 24 to things going on in the city that are designed
just for them. Filter is your route to a Creative Future and the best way to
find out how you can engage with the hundreds of arts, sports, heritage,
activities, projects, and showcases in the city. Filter will try its best to tell
you about all other activities for children and young people happening in
the city. We also try to give you easy access to opportunities and activities
plus exclusive discounts, vouchers and competitions.
Age UK groups, advice, services and
information for the over 50s 0121 236 2197
Alzheimer's Society groups, training, advice
and information on dementia 08453 000 336
Barnados / Amazon Young People’s
Counselling 0121 236 9222
BEAT eating disorders support groups,
education, advice 0845 634 1414
Birmingham Chinese Community support,
groups, info. 0121 685 8510
Birmingham Irish Community social, welfare
and cultural services 0121 604 6111
Your opportunities yearbook 2012 / 2013
Please copy and distribute widely For more
information or to advertise your activities in
this booklet please contact Mark Hillier, head
of patient and public involvement, by email
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid
domestic violence, legal and counselling 0121
685 8550 www.bswaid.org
British Red Cross emergencies, finding missing
family, teaching, refugees 0844 871 1111
Brook Advisory support and advice on sex and
relationships for young people 0121 643 5341
Connexions careers, education, training,
employment, disabilities - information for
young people – plus advice for parents /
carers / employers 0121 675 6105
Community Projects Team project workers,
groups and drop-ins 0121 303 3316
COPE Black Mental Health Foundation
supports users, carers and families 0121 551
Crossroads support, training, groups, respite,
paid care for carers 0121 622 0571
Dementia DISC information and support for
carers 0121 622 0578
Headway Brain Injury Support information,
support and services 0121 457 7541
Health Gay Life Clinic sexual health screening,
testing and health checks 0121 440 6161
Home Start support, wellbeing and
volunteering for families0800 068 63 68
Lesbian and Gay Switchboard National
information, advice and support service 0300
330 0630 www.llgs.org.uk
No Panic support & information for phobias,
anxiety and neuroses 0808 808 0545
Stepping Stones support with children, young
people and families 0121 772 0613
Terence Higgins Trust HIV support, safer sex
campaigns, courses, training 0121 694 6440
Asian Women's Centre training, support
groups, projects 0121 523 4910
For further help and advice contact: PALS
Customer Relations Call 0800 953 0045 email
email@example.com or visit
Also check regional and local groups are also
listed at www.equip.nhs.uk and
Frankfurt Christmas Market 2013
Birmingham has been twinned with Frankfurt
(www.frankfurt.de) for more than 40 years.
The partnership is celebrated every year by a
range of economic, political and cultural
events and exchanges involving schools,
business, and community groups.
Why not make a weekend of it?
Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas
Market has become a huge favourite with
both residents and visitors to the city from all
over the UK and Europe. It is now the largest
outdoor Christmas Market in the country.
Having run for the last 12 years, the Frankfurt
Christmas Market is now the centrepiece of
the city’s annual Christmas events calendar.
Birmingham's own traders offer an entirely
different selection of beautiful hand-crafted
items at the Christmas Craft Market, created
by local artisans, as well as ethnic goods
imported from all over the world.
Venue: Victoria Square, New Street,
Centenary Square & Chamberlain Square
Date: 14th November – 22 December
Time: 10am – 9pm
Tel: 0121 303 3008
Traditional stalls offer the usual array of
beautiful handmade toys, Christmas
decorations, original jewellery and craft
goods as well as a carousel to keep younger
Visitors can enjoy the delights of German
mulled wine (Gluhwein), grilled sausages,
vegetarian options, pretzels, German beer,
and for those with a sweet tooth,
gingerbread, crepes and marzipan sweets.
With so many stalls to browse (around 190
including the Craft Fair - pictured), why not
avoid the evening crowds by taking advantage
of one of the great centrally located hotels and
stay for the whole weekend?
With the markets right on your doorstep for a
relaxing morning browse, there are also plenty
of other activities in Birmingham to keep you
entertained for the whole weekend.
Visit www.visitbirmingham.com for more
Visitors to the markets can often get fantastic
discounted rates at participating hotels.
How to get to Birmingham's Frankfurt
Christmas Market and Craft Market
The Frankfurt Market is centrally located in
Victoria Square just minutes away from New
Street station. The Craft Market is in the
adjacent Chamberlain Square and continues
through to Centenary Square, home to
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the
New Central Library.
Statistics and facts
How many mental
health carers are there
in the UK?
It is estimated that there are over
3 million people in the UK caring
for a relative or friend with a
mental health problem. Hence, 1
in every 40 people is a mental
These figures include over 50,000
children and young people looking
after someone with a mental
health problem in the UK.
What proportion do mental health
carers represent of the total carer
Mental health carers make up to
25% of the estimated 6 million
carers in the UK; 1 in 4 carers are
mental health carers.
There were also 175,000 young
carers (ages up to 18) identified in
the 2001 Census. Of that number,
29% (just over 50,000) care for a
family member with mental health
How many mental health
carers are seen by the Trust?
The total number of mental health
carers known to The Princess Royal
Trust for Carers Centres is 27,603
(06/07 figures). 9% of all carers
seen by the Carers Centre network
are mental health carers.
Of this number, 2048 are young
carers. Out of all young carers
seen by our Centres, 13% are
caring for someone with a mental
1 in 8 adults (around 6.5 million
people) are carers.
What are the most
amongst the people
Our Carers Health Survey 02/03
found that over 50% of carers
were caring for someone with
learning disabilities (e.g. autism),
functional mental illness (e.g.
schizophrenia), or organic mental
illness (e.g. dementia). This would
put the UK figure for carers of
people with mental illness or
learning disability at over 3
million carers. A separate study
by Keeley & Clarke estimated that
“40–50% of all carers provide care
for another family member or
friend with a mental health
problem” or learning disability.
Carers save the economy
£119 billion per year, an
average of £18,473 per
This is divided into:
11% caring for people with
7% caring for people with
psychosis, schizophrenia or
8% caring for people with both
illness or disabilities
14% or people with learning
disabilities or an autisticspectrum disorder.
By 2037, it's anticipated that
the number of carers will
increase to 9 million
Every day another 6,000
people take on a caring
responsibility - that equals
over 2 million people each
58% of carers are women
and 42% are men
Over 1 million people care
for more than one person
Over 3 million people juggle
care with work, however the
significant demands of caring
mean that 1 in 5 carers are
forced to give up work
The main carer's benefit is
£59.75 for a minimum of 35
hours, equivalent to £1.71
per hour - far short of the
national minimum wage of
£6.19 per hour
People providing high levels of
care are twice as likely to be
permanently sick or disabled
625,000 people suffer
mental and physical ill health
as a direct consequence of
the stress and physical
demands of caring.
Over 1.3 million people
provide over 50 hours of
care per week.
What are the key issues
facing mental health carers?
Risk of suicide of the person cared for –
particularly for carers of people who
experience depression or psychosis, there
is a fear and risk that the person cared for
will make suicide attempts. Preventing
these attempts, or dealing with the
aftermath of unsuccessful suicide
attempts, places greater emotional strain
on mental health carers.
Unpredictability of caring for someone
with mental health problem – the nature
of mental illness often means that carers
are faced with unpredictable (and in a
minority of cases, violent) behaviour and
personality changes in the people they
care for, and need to deal with a “hidden”
illness which makes it more difficult to
understand. Certainly, the ‘highs’ and
‘lows’ of certain conditions often mean
that the physical capabilities of the person
may be ‘normal’ while their mental
capabilities and emotional state may vary
greatly. This means that it is hard to plan
for the future when caring for someone
with a mental health condition.
Stigma of mental illness – due to common
prejudices and misunderstandings around
mental health, carers are less likely to
discuss caring with friends and family who
may be in a position to offer support and
help. Mental health carers may well end
up isolated trying to cope on their own.
This can also act as a barrier to seeking
professional support and help.
Increased financial burdens –
given that carers may be unable to remain in
employment when caring for someone with a
mental health problem. Carers’ financial
situation may be particularly severe when
caring for someone who is spending
uncontrollably (as with many severe cases of
bipolar disorder, for example). This can result
in increased financial strain or even poverty for
mental health carers.
Confidentiality and information-sharing issues
–mental health carers often experience
problems in obtaining sufficient information
about the service users’ condition to care
effectively. This leaves them under supported.
Carers are frequently marginalised by health
and social care professionals who may use
patient confidentiality as a reason to ignore
them, and their experience and expertise. In
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers’ brief survey
of mental health carers in 2007, 86% of these
carers had been offered no services in their own
right before contacting a Carers Centre.
Lack of specialised respite – conventional
‘sitting’ services are often not appropriate or
trained to work with mental health service
users. There is a marked lack of understanding
of how to work with families to provide
appropriate respite when mental illness is
involved. As a result, mental health carers
have less time off from caring, which impacts
on their own physical and mental health, and
their capacity to care.
Impacts on carers’ mental and physical health
- given the above issues, it is unsurprising that
mental health carers spend an average of 60
hours per week on caring tasks. Indeed, carers
of people with physical and mental problems
are “more likely to report high levels of
neurotic symptoms than those caring for
people with physical problems or old age”, 28%
compared with 14%. Isolation from family and
friends as a result of the stigma of mental
health caring can also lead to depression and
Caring can take on many forms.
do the shopping and prepare meals for your
partner who is ill
help your mum to manage her finances because
she has dementia
help your disabled child to take a bath and go to
provide emotional support to your brother who is
addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Carers face many issues. You may
juggling work and care
debt and other money issues
finding time for yourself
looking after your own health and well being
getting help in an emergency, or
navigating your way through social services
Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and a carer can
bring about additional issues. One such worry may be
that existing services to support you and the person
that they care may not be LGBT friendly, or you may
also feel uncomfortable about ‘coming out’ to people
who can help.
On these web pages you will find information and
links to places that can support you as an LGBT carer.
As a lesbian, gay or bisexual person looking after a
partner, there may be pressure to ‘come out’ about
the nature of your relationship with the various
professionals involved in their care.
If you are caring for a parent or another family
member, your own lesbian or gay identity may feel as
if it is pushed to one side.
Try to ensure that you make time for your own needs
and interests. Social services are required to do a
separate carer’s assessment in which you can request
time away from your caring role and be advised on
Care is generally offered by staff who will not judge
you. Since the implementation of the Government’s
Equality Act 2010, no service provider may
discriminate against anyone because they are lesbian,
gay or bisexual.
If you ever experience prejudice or intimidation from
a care worker relating to your sexual orientation,
make a complaint to the service manager. You have
the law on your side. If you are not satisfied by the
response from the service manager, you are entitled
to pursue the matter further through the Care Quality
Housing & residential care
There are currently no specialist housing options for
older lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the UK.
However ‘extra-care’ housing - the privacy of
independent flats with the support of a care home
can offer positive choices for older lesbian, gay and
bisexual people. When looking at care homes or
sheltered housing , find out more about the attitudes
of the manager and staff. Be confident to ask the
manager directly what their policy is towards lesbian,
gay and bisexual residents.
Carers UK, General help and advice for all
0808 808 7777 (free call to landlines)
Care Quality Commission
The LGF’s Online Carers Forum &
Young People Services
Medication will not always be the first choice,
especially if your depression is mild. There are a
number of different types of antidepressants
available. Your GP can explain which they believe is
the best for you and why. What your doctor
prescribes will depend on the type and severity of
depression you have. If you experience problems
from your medicine or have any concerns, speak to
If one medication does not work you may be
prescribed something else. However it takes a few
weeks before your medicine starts to work so you
need to allow enough time to see if it is going to be
t is important that you take the medicine for the
length of time recommended by your GP. If you come
off your medicine too soon (even if you feel better)
this can lead to a relapse where the depression
returns. As a rough guide, you will usually have to
remain on treatment for at least six to nine months
and in many cases it could be longer. You need to
follow your GP’s advice when you are coming off your
medicine as it can be harmful if this is done too
We support Young Carers and Young Adult Carers aged
from 4 upwards, who provide support for a family
member who suffers from a long term illness. This
could be either a physical disability, mental ill health or
Carers of individuals with mental health problems
come into contact with a range of health and social
care professionals. Both in the community and in
healthcare institutions, carers routinely link with
psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, GPs, voluntary
and charity staff, as well as many other workers.
Mental health carers deserve support, both in
relation to the people they care for, and for
themselves as carers. Indeed, carers are often
working long hours, in unpredictable circumstances
and with little or no aid, to care for those closest to
them. But in this way, carers are often an invaluable
aid to health professionals’ work, giving an
experienced insight into the care and needs of the
However, there are always challenges working with,
and involving mental health carers. Dealing with
issues such as confidentiality, disputes over care and
treatment, and balancing the different needs of
carers and service users are common experiences
for many healthcare professionals. In this sense,
professionals also need support, and the necessary
resources to work in partnership with mental health
Young Carers and Young Adult Carers who access our
service can obtain advice and guidance from our
dedicated teams of support workers. Additionally, we
undertake a needs assessment to identify the sort of
support that we can offer to those referred to us. This
support may take the form of activities, peer support,
1:1 support and information. We also liaise with
schools and colleges and other professionals.
Worries about work, money
or a legal situation
Making sure that you do not feel overwhelmed by your
work responsibilities is important because it gives you
a sense of being in control. It’s important to make time
for yourself to do things you want to do or to be with
friends and family.
• If you're struggling to cope with work pressures
and you have access to an occupational health
department, you can speak to them about how you
are feeling. They may be able to help you to review
your work commitments or address specific issues
that are affecting your work.
• If you are having financial difficulties, speak to your
local Citizens Advice Bureau about how you might
get financial help.
• National Debtline provides free, confidential and
independent advice for people with debt
problems. If you are out of work or want to change
your job, your local job centre may offer support in
Both the Citizens Advice Bureau and your local social
services department can also help you with advice
about benefits if you are unemployed or unable to
work because of depression.
Where possible, you should always try to keep
working. This is because people with depression often
find that having something meaningful to do and a
reason to get up in the morning is very helpful. Being
with work colleagues, having a routine to the day, and
the sense of achievement in getting a job done are all
good for your mental health.
Medication for mental
Your health, your choices
Other safety concerns
The person you're looking after may be prescribed
medication if they have mental health problems. In
some cases, the medication may be prescribed for a
limited period of time. In others, medication can be
prescribed indefinitely. Medication is often
combined with other treatment, such as counselling.
Some medication works better for certain people
than for others. It may take doctors a while before
they can find the best medication, or the best
dosage of that medication, for the person you're
As a carer, you may need to supervise medication
for the person you're looking after, to ensure that
they take it regularly and in the correct amounts. If
that’s the case, you should make sure you have all
the information you need from the doctor who
prescribed the medication.
You'll need to know, for example, the time of day
the medication should be given, whether it needs to
be taken with meals or before meals and whether
some types of medication should be taken
separately or can be taken together. You'll also need
to ensure that prescriptions are dispensed in time so
that the person you're looking after doesn't run out
If you're worried about the person you're looking
after remembering to take their medication, but
can't be there to supervise, there are various ways
they can be reminded:
• They can use a pill box to make sure they take
each day’s medication. Automatic versions of
these boxes are available where the dispenser
beeps and a small opening allows access to the
• You can telephone them at the times they need
to take their medication.
• You can arrange for a care worker to visit at the
hours of day medication needs to be taken.
In some cases injections are available that release
the medication in small quantities over several
weeks. They aren't suitable for everyone and you
and the person you're looking after should check the
advantages and disadvantages with a doctor.
You and the person you're looking after can take a
number of steps to ensure safety when taking
• Make sure that the medication is clearly labelled
and dosage instructions are understood.
• Be aware that over-the-counter (OTC)
medication shouldn't be taken with prescribed
medication unless a doctor or pharmacist has
confirmed it's safe to do so.
• Be aware that if a dose of the medication is
missed, it may not be safe to take a larger
amount later on.
The person you're looking after may be
willing to let you remove any surplus
medication to make sure that they don't take
it by mistake.
If the person you're
looking after refuses to
If you're worried about the health of the person
you're looking after and feel their condition is
deteriorating because they haven't been taking their
medication, contact the local community mental
health team or GP. In most cases people have the
right to refuse to take medication. It's only in certain
extreme cases that they can be forced to take it.
Try to find out the reasons why they're refusing to
take it. They may just be neglecting themself,
or they may have reasons for not wanting to take it,
such as a fear of side effects or of feeling out of
control. You should encourage them to discuss these
concerns with healthcare professionals.
The person you're looking after may also feel a
sense of despair. They may think that there's no
point in continuing to take medication because it's
not making a difference. Remind them that there
are different types of medication and it's possible
that they need to see their doctor to discuss
changing to a different type.
You and the person you're looking after should also
be aware of alternatives to medication, such as
counselling, which they may find more acceptable
Triangle of Care
Carers Trust (formerly The Princess Royal Trust for
Carers) and the National Mental Health Development
Unit today published a guide which emphasizes the
need for better local strategic involvement of carers and
families in the care planning and treatment of people
with mental ill-health.
“The Triangle of Care - Carers Included: A Best Practice
Guide in Acute Mental Health Care”, recommends
better partnership working between service users and
their carers, and organisations.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow endorsed the
guide, saying: “it shows how professionals, service users
and carers can better work together to access the
“As a society we are becoming more aware that mental
health issues touch all of us. One in four of us will
experience some kind of mental illness in our lifetime
but the wider role of family and friends in helping to
care for those affected is still too easily over looked,
especially when crisis situations arise.”
Welcoming the guide as an innovative step towards
allowing staff in psychiatric wards and acute care
settings to work better with service users and their
carers, Carole Cochrane, the Chief Executive at The
Trust pointed out that:
“There are currently 1.5m carers in the UK who look
after someone with mental health problems, many of
whom are also being treated in acute care settings.
Sadly, too often we see that carers’ own expertise being
ignored by professionals, or carers being left
unsupported in their caring role.
“In these uncertain economic times, staff must
recognise the values of working in partnership with
The ‘Triangle of Care’ approach was developed by carers
and staff to improve carer engagement in acute
inpatient and home treatment services. The guide
outlines key elements to achieving this as well as
examples of good practice.
The 2nd Edition guide can now be used across
all mental health services, not only inpatient, and
includes a new universal self-assessment tool as
well as guidance notes. In addition the guide
now includes new good practice examples from
across the mental health care pathway.
The Triangle of Care guide was launched in July
2010 as a joint piece of work between Carers
Trust and the National Mental Health
Development Unit emphasizing the need for
better local strategic involvement of carers and
families in the care planning and treatment of
people with mental ill-health.
The Triangle of Care approach was developed by
carers and staff to improve carer engagement in
acute inpatient and home treatment services.
The guide outlines key elements to achieving this
as well as examples of good practice. It
recommends better partnership working
between service users and their carers, and
The guide received further validation when it
was included Carers Strategy refresh in
November 2010 and No Health without Mental
Health in February 2011. In addition we have had
enquiries from as far away as New Zealand about
how to go about adopted the Triangle of Care
standards in their services.
If you would like to volunteer with
Ring us and complete the Volunteer
Christ Application Pack and we will contact you
with information on the roles we have
Volunteering with Stonham available and details of the application
Volunteering can offer new challenges,
develop new skills and give a real sense of
achievement. It also provides a good
opportunity to meet new people and have
fun helping Stonham Carers.
You can volunteer as much or as little time
as you lifestyle allows. From an 'ad hoc'
basis to several hours a week, every
contribution will make a difference.
We provide out of pocket expenses,
training and support.
You can volunteer with us in a variety of
different ways (please click the links below
to see sample role descriptions). You can
Help on reception
• Help at Carers' groups and
events in the community
• Help on our Information Line
taking calls from Carers as the first
point of contact
• Phone a Carer on a regular basis
with Talk and Support
• Help with Fundraising
If you have a particular skill or area of
expertise, please feel free to discuss
different options with us and we will
aim to help you find a suitable role.
If you do need to contact us you can call us
on 0121 380 4949
Talk and Support
Caring for someone can be isolating. A
friendly chat with someone who
understands what you are going through
can provide a huge boost. That's why we
pair some of our Carers with a volunteer
telephone supporter who will call on a
regular basis offering a listening ear,
support and encouragement.
Would you like to volunteer
as a telephone supporter?
As a telephone supporter you need to be a
good listener, respect other people and
empathise with their emotions. You also
need to be warm, encouraging and
We provide induction and ongoing training
as well as group and one-to-one support.
Apply by completing the Volunteer
Application Pack and we will contact you
with information and details of the
Alternatively, if you do need to contact us
on 0121 380 4949.
Are you a young carer?
A young carer is someone aged 18 or under who helps to look after a relative who has a disability,
illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem.
The majority of young carers look after one of their parents or care for a brother or sister. They do
jobs in and around the home, such as cooking, cleaning, or helping someone to get dressed and move
Young carers may need to help a relative deal with their feelings by talking to them, listening and
trying to understand their problems.
The difference between young carers and other young people who help in the home is that young
carers are often responsible for someone else in their family in a way that most other young people
Some children give a lot of physical help to a brother or sister who is disabled or ill. If you do, you are
a sibling carer (sibling is a word for brother or sister). Along with physical help for your sibling, you
may also be giving emotional support to both your sibling and your parents.
A young carer might also care for a grandparent or someone else from their extended family.
What difficulties can young carers experience?
· Low mood. · Self harm or suicidal thoughts. · Feeling lonely. · Lack of confidence. · Low self
esteem. · Lack of sleep. · Poor physical health.
· Educational difficulties. · Bullying. · Social isolation. · Not knowing who to trust. · Lack of
Youthspace aims to raise awareness, challenge discrimination & promote
positive mental health for young people by offering advice, support &
information to anyone interested in finding out more about mental health.
We aim to:
encourage personal responsibility for mental health by understanding
'how it works'
encourage people to support and motivate each other
promote a wider awareness & understanding of mental health & illness
offer up-to-date information about maintaining emotional wellbeing and self-confidence
provide useful help and advice to anyone in distress
provide general links and resources for people wanting more information
reduce negativity, prejudice and stigma through increased understanding
Tel: 0800 953 0045 or 0121 678 4455
Self-harm is when a person inflicts pain or injuries
upon themselves to feel release from stress and
pressure that they are experiencing. Self-harm is
always a sign of emotional distress, and can be
carried out for a variety of reasons.
For some, self-harm provides a means to cope with
overwhelming emotions such as feelings of
helplessness and powerlessness. For others, selfharm is a way to exert control over themselves
which can result in a sense of comfort.
Self-harming can start at any age and can take many
burning parts of the body (both heat and cold
cutting/slashing parts of the body
picking/scratching the skin
pulling hair out
restriction of blood flow using ligatures
wound interference to prevent healing
Common causes for self-harming could be:
While self-harm is ultimately damaging and may be
dangerous, for some people it provides a method of
coping with life. Taking away a person's means of
self-harm can increase their emotional distress and
ultimately make the situation worse.
If you know someone with depression and want to
help them, first and foremost take them and their
concerns seriously and be patient with them. There
are a number of self-help groups and voluntary
sector self-harm projects that can help.
Personality disorder can cover a wide range of
conditions. There are around ten types of personality
disorder and they are listed below:
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Avoidant Personality Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Dependant Personality Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Impulsive Personality Disorder
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
Schizoid Personality Disorder
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
While the symptoms of the disorders above are
difference, there are general characteristics of each
condition such as:
lack of emotion
alcohol or substance abuse
There is no clear diagnostic test for personality
disorder. Diagnosis is usually based upon consultation
with a psychiatrist who is satisfied that the person
displays a number of symptoms associated with a
personality disorder. They look for traits that are also
evident in the person that are recognisable as being
associated with personality disorder.
The treatment for personality disorder is usually a
combination of therapies and medication.
Antipsychotics, antidepressants and mood stabilisers
can be prescribed as well as therapies such as:
cognitive analytical therapy, cognitive behavioural
therapy and dynamic psychotherapy.
If you know someone with a personality disorder and
want to help them, first and foremost take them and
their concerns seriously and be patient with them.
Depression is a common mental disorder that
causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of
interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low selfworth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and
Depression is different from feeling down or sad.
Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one
time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A
person suffering from depression will experience
intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity
and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them
instead of going away.
Depression can happen to anyone. Many successful
and famous people who seem to have everything
going for them battle with this problem. Depression
also affects people of every age.
Half of the people who have depression will only
experience it once but for the other half it will happen
again. The length of time that it takes to recover
ranges from around six months to a year or more.
Living with depression is difficult for those who suffer
from it and for their family, friends, and colleagues. It
can be difficult to know if you are depressed and what
you can do about it.
Signs and symptoms of depression
Tiredness and loss of energy.
Sadness that doesn’t go away.
Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem.
Not being able to enjoy things that are usually
pleasurable or interesting.
• Feeling anxious all the time.
• Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close
• Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
• Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to
sleep or waking up much earlier than usual.
• Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
• Finding it hard to function at work/college/school.
• Loss of appetite.
• Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems.
• Physical aches and pains.
• Thinking about suicide and death.
If you experience four or more of these
symptoms for most of the day - every day - for
more than two weeks, you should seek help from
Types of depression
There are several types of depression, some
of which are listed below.
Depression is described as mild when it has a
limited negative effect on your daily life. For
example, you may have difficulty concentrating at
work or motivating yourself to do the things you
Major depression interferes with an individual’s
daily life - with eating, sleeping and other everyday
activities. Some people may experience only one
episode but it is more common to experience
several episodes in a lifetime. It can lead to hospital
admission, if the person is so unwell they are at risk
of harm to themselves.
The mood swings in bi-polar disorder can be
extreme - from highs, where the individual feels
extremely elated and indestructible, to lows, where
they may experience complete despair, lethargy
and suicidal feelings. Sometimes people have very
severe symptoms where they cannot make sense of
their world and do things that seem odd or illogical.
Many new mothers experience what are
sometimes called 'baby blues' a few days after the
birth. These feelings of anxiety and lack of
confidence are very distressing but in most cases
last only a couple of weeks. Post-natal depression is
more intense and lasts longer. It can leave new
mothers feeling completely overwhelmed,
inadequate and unable to cope. They may have
problems sleeping, panic attacks or an intense fear
of dying. They may also experience negative
feelings towards their child. It affects one in ten
mothers and usually begins two to three weeks
after the birth.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
SAD is associated with the start of winter and can
last until spring when longer days bring more
daylight. When it is mild, it is sometimes called
‘winter blues’. SAD can make the sufferer feel
anxious, stressed and depressed. It may interfere
with their moods and with their sleeping and eating
Mental Health Charities
SANE was established in 1986 and is one of the UK’s leading
mental health charities. It aims to raise public awareness of
mental health, improve treatment, campaign for change, combat
stigma, and stimulate neuroscience and treatment-related
SANE offers a helpline and email service, as well as an online
support forum – with the help of a 130-strong team of rigorouslytrained volunteers. www.sane.org.uk
Mental Health Foundation
MHF is the UK’s leading mental health research, policy and
service-improvement charity. It carries out and publishes
research, develops practical solutions to improving mental health
services, campaigns to reduce stigma and promote better mental
health across the country. MHF provides ground-breaking
research and is at the forefront of the mental health sector. It is
the ‘charity for everyone’s mental wellbeing’.
Mind is a leading mental health charity for England and Wales,
working to promote understanding of mental health, improve
services and provide support to those with mental health
problems. Mind supports almost 250,000 people every year
through a network of 160 local Minds.
Mind offers an Info line, offering confidential help over the
phone. It also runs a Legal Advice Service, providing individuals
with information on law relating to mental health. Mind also
campaigns on a range of national issues affecting those with
mental health problems, such as employment and legal rights.
Young Minds is the leading mental health charity for children and
young people, whose voices are central to the work they carry out
– which includes lobbying, influencing, and providing training and
development to professionals, parents and young people. It
provides support to young people for a range of mental health
Young Minds is at the heart of national discourse on mental
health issues, and plays a central part in the influence and
pressure put on the Government to improve and sustain the
mental health services in the UK. The Young Minds website also
has a regularly-updated blog, including personal stories from
young people with mental health problems.
Formed in 1879, Together is one of the longest-standing mental
health charities. It offers a range of practical and personal
services to those suffering with mental health problems –
including one-to-one support and supported accommodation.
Together currently works with 4,000 adults every month and is
involved with 80 projects throughout England. It provides
community support Resource Centres across the country, homebased community support and much more.
Since 1970, Anxiety UK has been the UK’s leading anxiety
disorders charity. Based in Manchester, the charity offers relief
and rehabilitation to sufferers of anxiety disorders, whilst also
promoting the awareness of anxiety and improving the
services for those with anxiety.
Anxiety UK supports anyone suffering with a wide range of
anxiety disorders, including Generalised Anxiety Disorder
(GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Phobia and Agoraphobia.
Rethink Mental Illness supports almost 60,000 people each
year across the UK to get through mental health-related crises
and to live independently. It is the largest national voluntary
sector provider of mental health services, with over 150
support groups and around 250 services. Rethink works closely
with government policies that affect those with mental health
problems, including campaigning for policy change.
Turn2me’s website provides interactive support, where users
can listen to podcasts, discuss problems in forums and join
online group support. Its aim is to connect people and
promote mental wellbeing through technology. Turn2me’s
services are available every hour, every day and are completely
Depression Alliance is the UK’s leading charity for people with
depression. It provides information and support whilst
advocating the importance of early intervention. It believes
that stigma and lack of information need to improve, and aim
to do this through publications, supporter services and its
network of self-help groups.
Depression Alliance works closely with the government and
healthcare professionals to improve the services and
treatment for those with depression. It also campaigns to raise
awareness of depression amongst the general public, through
organising events and initiatives (including Depression
Awareness Week). www.depressionalliance.org
Beat is the award-winning, leading UK charity of eating
disorders, providing information and support to hose with a
range of eating disorder. It aims to change the way we think
and talk about eating disorders, improve services and
treatment and help instil the belief that eating disorders can
Beat campaigns for better services for those with eating
disorders and provides sufferers with information, support and
encouragement to seek treatment. www.b-eat.co.uk
Bipolar UK is the national charity supporting those with bipolar
disorder and their families and carers. It offers a range of
services, including a mentoring scheme and self-help groups.
The charity works with research organisations and campaigns
for the issues surrounding bipolar.
The Bipolar UK website also offers an eCommunity, where
people can join in discussions and receive
Tips to help you survive the festive season and
be mentally healthy.
Leaving all your preparations for
Christmas until the last minute can cause
unnecessary stress, but planning ahead
can save you time and money.
Making lists for jobs to do, presents to
buy and groceries you'll need helps to
organise your thoughts, prevents you
forgetting something (or someone) and
makes it easier to stick to a budget.
If you start shopping early you can
spread the cost of Christmas, and
shopping online can save you even more
money, as well as avoiding the stress
and crowds of the Christmas shopping
season. You can even order all the food
for Christmas dinner to be delivered as
late as 23 December from a number of
supermarkets (although these delivery
spots need booking many weeks in
Give as You Live provides a price
comparison search and donates money
to charity when you shop at no extra
cost to you, so you can save money on
your Christmas shopping and support a
good cause at the same time!
If the expense of Christmas is causing
you anxiety, you may find this advice
from Money Saving Expert useful.
The celebratory spirit of Christmas and
New Year often involves social drinking
and although the consumption of
alcohol might make you feel more
relaxed, it is important to remember
that alcohol is a depressant and drinking
excessive amounts can cause low mood,
irritability or potentially aggressive
behaviour. By not exceeding the
recommended number of safe units, you
will be better able to sustain good
mental and physical wellbeing.
The festive period has become
synonymous with over-indulgence,
which in turn prompts a pressing desire
for many of us to lose weight in the New
Year. Where possible, maintain a good
balance of fruit, vegetables,
carbohydrates, protein and omega 3
sufficient energy. Maintaining a healthy
diet and weight can improve your mood
and can work towards preventing
symptoms of lethargy and irritability that
many of us feel during the busy festive
season and dark winter months.
sources throughout the year in order to
be in good physical condition and have
sufficient energy. Maintaining a healthy
diet and weight can improve your mood
and can work towards preventing
symptoms of lethargy and irritability that
many of us feel during the busy festive
season and dark winter months.
Physical activity releases the feel-good
chemicals, endorphins, which help you to
relax, feel happy and boost your mood. By
undertaking simple tasks such as cycling
to work, walking in the park, or joining in
with Christmas games, you can benefit
from experiencing reduced anxiety,
decreased depression and improved selfesteem. In addition, recent research has
indicated that regular exercise can help to
boost our immune systems, enabling us to
better fight off colds and flu viruses that
are prolific in winter months.
The festive period provides us with an
ideal opportunity to talk to, visit or
engage with the people around us. Faceto-face communication has been shown
to improve our mental and physical
wellbeing as this interaction produces the
hormone, oxytocin, which can benefit our
immune system, heart health and
cognitive function. With our Lonely
Society report having indicated that a
third of us have a close friend or family
member we think is lonely, a Christmas or
new year’s resolution to see our friends
and family more often can help to boost
both our own mental wellbeing, and that
You could arrange a shared experience as
a gift for a friend or loved one such as a
cookery lesson or cinema outing. Look at
wish.co.uk for some more unusual ideas!
If you're travelling to visit family or friends
for Christmas booking travel in advance
can often be much cheaper. Try Expedia
for flights and The Trainline for rail tickets.
If you are apart from your family then
volunteering for a charity or local
community organisation can provide that
same human contact, as well as help
provide essential support and
encouragement for others in need. These
interactions can easily be sustained
throughout the coming year and need not
just be for Christmas.
Christmas can be a very busy and
stressful time as we prepare to entertain
family and friends, worry about cooking a
delicious Christmas dinner, and fit in
some last minute present shopping.
These feelings of being under pressure
can produce symptoms of anxiety, anger
and difficulty sleeping which, if
prolonged, could have a long-term
detrimental impact on your mental
health and wellbeing. By exercising more
regularly or practicing mindfulness – a
combination of meditation, yoga and
breathing techniques – you can help to
both alleviate the symptoms of your
stress and gain more control when
coping with difficult situations.
Christmas presents aside, implementing a
new exercise regime or signing up for a
course in mindfulness, such as our online
course in mindfulness-based stress
reduction, could be your best investment
for a more relaxed Christmas and New
Despite many of us having time off work
during Christmas and the New Year, our
sleep patterns can be disturbed between
catching up with friends and family and
partying late in to the night. There is
mounting evidence on the link between
sleep and mental wellbeing, meaning
improvements in the quality of your
sleep could result in improvements to
your overall mental health.
There are several steps you can take
towards achieving a better night’s sleep:
attempting to get back in to your regular
sleep routine as soon as possible after
the party period, consuming less alcohol
during the festivities, implementing
regular exercise into your weekly routine,
and taking measures to alleviate your
Football can have a major impact on mental health. It is
thought to affect emotions, relationships, identity and
self-esteem. In a recent study, one in four fans said
football was one of the most important things in their
When time is at a premium for most people, leisure activity and
entertainment fulfils the psychological need to escape from the
stresses and strains of life and go into another world for a period
of time. The time set aside for football is often sacrosanct and
provides an opportunity to play.
It has been suggested that the attraction of sports events over
other forms of entertainment is the combination of comfort in
ritual with unpredictable outcome. People can look forward to
the comfort of the familiar with the thrill of the unknown.
Basking in reflected glory
When your team does well, it prompts feelings of happiness,
well-being and collective euphoria. Fans ‘bask in reflected
glory’ (BIRG). It has been suggested that ‘BIRGing’ improves
mood both in individuals and in communities. If a team loses a
match, however, it does not necessarily have a negative impact
on mental health.
It is thought that watching football may be cathartic. It has been
suggested that the atmosphere of a live football match is socially
inclusive. Fans step into their team identity by wearing clothes
and using language they would not usually use in their everyday
lives. They can behave in ways that encourage ‘a cathartic
release of tension’ through shouting, screaming, gesturing and
chanting. Pent up internalised feelings and intense emotion such
as frustration annoyance or sadness can be vented in a socially
acceptable way. Men can express and release internalised
emotion that they don’t feel able to express in other ways.
For young men in particular, the opportunity to externalise
tension and emotion is important to maintaining health. Young
men are at the highest risk of suicide – it is the most common
cause of death for young men under the age of 35. This age
group is one of the most dominant in football crowds across the
The World Cup in particular may have a positive effect on mental
health. One study found there was a reduction in numbers of
emergency psychiatric admissions during and after World Cup
According to ‘social identity theory’, fans separate groups and
teams into social categories and identify with the group/team to
which they see themselves belonging. Supporting a football club,
watching a live game or gathering to watch a match on television
are all ways of participating in group activity with people who
share the same values and interests. This provides a sense of
belonging, identification and inclusion within a larger group. It
creates a tangible social identity. Identification with the players
as people and the club also promote a sense of belonging.
Because this belonging is a key part of their identity, people will
continue to support their team even if the team lets them down.
(Football provides an opportunity for every fan to be the ‘expert’
pundit. have found losing fans can become anxious and irritable, and
experience sleep problems and headaches. Some fans can become
withdrawn and anti-social after a loss.
Watching sports such as football have an impact on testosterone
levels. Studies have found that fans experience the same hormonal
surges and physiological ebbs and flows during a game as they might
if they were on the field.
However, the stronger the identification with the team, the
stronger the emotional reaction to wins and losses and the more
extreme the highs and lows. identifiers’ – people whose identity is
intertwined with a team and who will have extreme emotions in
the face of defeat. Because identification with the team is a central
component of the self-identify of high-identified fans, the team’s
performances have strong implications for their self-worth – they
are ‘part’ of the team. High identifiers on the losing side can
experience significant psychological problems. Studies
For most fans, football is a part of their lives. However, for some it
can become the main focus. In the US, these people are referred to
as ‘high identifiers’ – people whose identity is intertwined with a
team and who will have extreme emotions in the face of defeat.
Because identification with the team is a central component of the
self-identify of high-identified fans, the team’s performances have
strong implications for their self-worth – they are ‘part’ of the team.
High identifiers on the losing side can experience significant
psychological problems. Studies have found losing fans can become
anxious and irritable, and experience sleep problems and headaches.
Some fans can become withdrawn and anti-social after a loss.
Watching sports such as football have an impact on testosterone
levels. Studies have found that fans experience the same hormonal
surges and physiological ebbs and flows during a game as they might
if they were on the field.
Having strong relationships is known to be a key factor in the
maintenance of positive mental health. Football plays an important
role in the formation and maintenance of social and familial
relationships. Over 90% of people who attend matches go with
friends, family or colleagues. Football provides a platform to
communicate with others, gossip (known to protect mental wellbeing), exchange views, and bond through celebration and
commiseration. It helps people maintain relationships by providing a
reason to meet up regularly. Football strengthens bonds between
family members, most notably between fathers and sons. Many
parents see football as an important part of their relationship with
their children. Time set aside to watch football is done so
deliberately and becomes an expected routine. It generates
conversation and provides an opportunity for parent and child to
catch up. It creates and protects ‘quality time’. This quality time often
continues long after children have grown up and so maintains
parent/child relationships throughout life.
Keep it in perspective
Football only has a positive effect when it is kept in perspective. An
over-reliance on or obsession with football can limit the development
of other interests and have a negative impact on male/female
relationships and may divert attention away from other family
Football might have an even more beneficial impact on mental health
if more fans took to the field, as exercise is known to have a positive
effect on our mental well-being.
Carers UK Adviceline
Thinking about your pension is not normally at
the top of anyone’s agenda until they come
close to retirement, and this is no different for
carers. However, if your working life is
interrupted because you leave a paid job to
care for someone, it can have a devastating
impact on your pension longer term.
Many people are shocked to find out that not
everybody automatically qualifies for a full
basic State Pension on reaching retirement age.
In order to qualify you must have made a
certain amount of National Insurance (NI)
contributions towards it throughout your
working life. If you miss paying these because
you have taken time out of paid work, then you
may lose out.
The good news is that if you fall out of paid
work because you are caring for someone who
is disabled, ill or frail then the state will credit
your contributions for you. However, this isn't
automatic and only happens if you claim the
right benefits and take the right action. This
makes it critical for carers to get good advice
on their pensions .
Carers UK provides high quality advice and
information to carers and the professionals
who support carers.
This is available through our website, booklets,
factsheets and Carers UK’s Adviceline.
Staffed by experts, we have years of experience
of dealing with the problems carers face. We
also have a team of volunteers who are trained
to support your call in other ways.
We provide information and advice on:
benefits and tax credits
carers employment rights
the services available for carers
how to complain effectively and challenge
When should you call?
The Adviceline is open on a Wednesday and
Thursday, 10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm with
specialist Advisors available to answer your
queries. If the lines are busy or closed, you will
go through to an answer machine where you
can leave your name and address to receive a
Carers Rights Guide. Unfortunately we're unable
to return messages left on this answer machine.
Address1: 20 Great Dover Street
Postcode: SE1 4LX
Phone: 0808 808 7777
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org This
email address is being protected from
enabled to view it.
Carers are individuals who
provide unpaid care to friends
and family members. This care
can be day-to-day, personal or
even some forms of health
care, but the one thing that all
carers have in common is their
unpaid status. There are over
six million carers in the UK, but
this does not mean that every
person who becomes ill,
injured, frail or is disabled will
need, want or accept the help
of a carer. Nor does it mean
that everyone is suited to caring
for family or friends.
To assist you in determining
your viability as a carer we have
put together the questionnaire
below. Answer "yes" or "no" to
each question. Total your
answers. Match them to the
explanations at the end to find
out if you are suited to being a
1. Do you have time to provide
care to someone on a consistent
2. Can you afford to provide
consistent care to someone
3. Do you live close enough to
someone to be able to care for
4. Are you able to carry out
personal care tasks for others?
5. Can you remember even the
smallest details of another's
6. Are you skilled at recordkeeping?
7. Can you provide emotional
support to others?
8. Do you have a way of
transporting someone else to
and from appointments and
9. Are you able to motivate
others when they need it?
10. Do you have your own
hobbies and methods of
Are you suited
to being a carer?
If you answered "yes" to
between one and three
questions then you are most
likely not suited to being a
carer. Caring, even when it
looks like it might only be a
few hours at a time, can
easily become like a full time
job. Caring encompasses all
aspects of a person's life,
from getting out of bed in the
morning to getting to sleep at
night. Carers, even when they
are not physically with their
loved ones, are often working
on behalf of those people.
There is no shame in not
being suited to caring, but it
may mean that should a
friend or relative need help
that you will need to work to
find alternate solutions for
their health and well-being.
If you answered "yes" to
between four and six questions
then you may be suited to being
a carer. You likely have the
temperament and skill set that
would make you a good carer,
though there may be some
practical issues that could keep
you from being able to make the
most of your talents. If you are
concerned about your ability to
care for others, consider helping
someone casually until you
understand what will truly be
asked of you. Whether or not
you can care for someone else is
a very personal decision, but one
that you may find organisations
such as Stonham, Carers UK or
The Princess Royal Trust for
Carers can support you as you
make. If you answered "yes" to
seven or more questions then
you are most likely suited to
being a carer. You likely have the
time and talents required of a
good carer and you probably
understand the myriad tasks
which may be required of a carer
at any given time. If you have
reservations about caring for
someone, consider getting in
touch with other carers, your
local council, health authority or
social services, a carer's
organisation such as Carers UK
or The Princess Royal Trust for
Carers or even a forum or
website for carers on the
Internet. Finding others who
have already made the decision
you are facing may help you sort
through your own thoughts and
emotions about whether or not
to become a carer.
Department of Health:
National Institute for Clinical Excellence:
World Health Organisation:
Disability Rights Commission:
Anti Bullying Advice:
Mad Not Bad:
National Autism Helpline:
National Electronic Library for Mental Health:
Children and Mental Health:
Prevention of Young suicide:
Campaign Against Living Miserably/
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
Panic Attack Helpline:
Mental Health Matters:
10 things to do at The Christmas Market
Eat a German Bratwurst & Brezel
German Bratwurst (white or red sausage) and Brezel are traditional
German foods and are famous throughout the world. How the
Bratwurst is served varies by region, but it is commonly served with
a Brötchen (roll). The Brezel is type of bread and is particularly
famous in South Germany and Austria. German speakers also call it
"Laugenbrezel" (lyle pretzel).
Have a hot Glühwein (mulled wine)
Glühwein is a traditional and loved hot acoholic Christmas drink
which is usually made of white and red wine and various spices such
as cinnamon , cloves, lemon slices and aniseed. It is the perfect drink for a cold winter night..
Indulge yourself with chocolaty Crêpes
Although Crêpes are a traditional French dessert, they are one of the various food highlights of the German
Christmas market. Topped with hot chocolate sauce or filled with banana, they are a must-do.
Sing along with the singing moose
For the last ten years Birmingham's singing Christmas moose (Chris Moose) has become a Christmas
attraction in its own right..
Get traditional Christmas decorations
The traditional Christmas Craft Fair offers Christmas decorations and handcrafts. A wide range of candles,
jewellery, Christmas tree decorations,
Listen to traditional Carols &
Carols in the City as well as daily bands on the
Christmas market stage will create a romantic
Christmas atmosphere. Enjoy a hot mug of
Glühwein while listening to traditional Christmas
song or great Jazz music.
Drink a crisp German beer
Enjoy a crisp German Beer with your Bratwurst,
but please drink responsibly!
Take a ride on the Carousel
Take a one horse ride through the German
Market on the fantastic ornate carousel.
Get a lovely wooly hat with bobbles
"If the weather outside is frightful" get your mits on a delightful wooly hat from the market stalls.
10. Buy a nice souvenir at the Visitor Centre stall
The friendly, informative and multilingual staff have the know-how to offer the kind of insight and inspired
advice that no guidebook can touch. From souvenirs, brochures to maps - you will find it at the Visitor
Centre Christmas stall.
Contact before for
7 Victoria Road,
Every 4th Monday
2nd Tuesday of the Our Place
7 - 9pm
2 – 4pm
2 – 3.30
Every 4th Tuesday
Library Group of month
Ward End Library
Westwood Heath Rd
Every 2nd Tuesday
242 Lodge Rd,
Harrison Road, (off
11 - 1pm
1st Wednesday of
Small Heath Health
42 Chapman Rd
2 – 4pm
8 Heathfield Rd,
0121 464 6717
7pm—9pm 07713 385888
Women Carer 1st Wednesday of
Chinese carer 2nd Wednesday of
99 Bradford road
Digbeth B12 0NS
Chinese carers 11th Dec
10.30-12.30 07713 387325
Carers Group Wednesdays
88 Bristol Road
2—3.30pm 07713 385888
Carers Group Wednesdays
Centre, 10 Park
Way, Rednal, B45
4th & 18th, Janet Summers
3rd Wednesday of
Carers Group every month
100 Showell Green
1 – 3pm
2 – 4pm
10.30-12.30 07713 387325
Last Wednesday of 130 Hob Moor Road,
Daytime & Evening
Last Wednesday of Residents Common
Room, Bradshaw Cl.
Carers Group month
Maypole B14 5NW
1st Thursday of
Carers Group every month
New Heights St Johns Mixed Group
Centre Warren Farm
10 - 12pm
Looking for new
venue, and we’ll meet
up in the new year
12.30 -2.30 07713 385888
Second Thursday of Meet at the new
at the ICC Cafe to walk
3rd Thursday of
At The ARC, Moseley Mixed
School, Springfield Rd Group
3rd Thursday of
Carers Group Every Month
Last Friday of every Creative Support
64 Water Street
Take a break
1 – 3pm
10 – 12pm
Carers Group 1st Friday of Every
1 High Street
On the Move
Our Place Community Mixed Carers
Every Friday for 6
weeks starting 26th Hub,
1& 2 South Cottages,
Farthing Lane, Sutton
Coldfield, B72 1RN
To Report it Dial: 999, 101, 0800 555 111, or
To Report a Hate Crime
West Midlands Police are please to certify that
Stonham Birmingham Mental Health Carers Support Service
Official Third Party Reporting Centre for Hate Crime
Have you or someone you know been a victim of a hate crime or hate incident?
Hate crimes and incidents come in many
different forms. It can be because of hatred on
the grounds of your race, religion, sexual
orientation, transgender identity or disability.
Hate crime in any form is wrong. That is why it
is important that if hate crime happens to you
or someone you know, that you report it.
True Vision is here to give you information
about hate crime or incidents and how to
On this website, you can:
Find out what hate crimes or hate
Find out about the ways you can report
Report using the online form.
Find information about people that can
help and support you if you have
been a victim.
Follow us on Twitter - @true_vision_hc
'Like' Our Facebook page –
Reporting makes a difference – to you, your
friends, and your community. By reporting
hate crime when it happens, you can help stop
it happening to someone else. You will also
help the police to better understand the level
of hate crime in your local area, and improve
the way they respond to it.
Please use for your
comments, feedback or
complaints & return to…
Stonham Carer Support Services
Unit 3, Holt Court North
Heneage Street West
Birmingham Science Park,
Aston, B7 4AX