What is a Carer?
A carer is someone who accepts responsibility for the wellbeing of a person with mental health problems. They may also provide regular support.
Who can be a Carer?
A family member, partner or close friend of someone with mental health difficulties.
Can a Carer be under 18 years old?
A Carer might also be a child or young person under the age of 18 who is caring for someone in their family. This could be anyone in the family – a mother, father, brother, sister, a grandparent, aunt or uncle.
What support do Carers need?
Carers need emotional as well as practical support. Emotional support may be as simple as having someone to talk to you about the things that may be worrying you. Practical support might involve having somebody you can call on in an emergency or it might involve getting advice on mental health conditions, respite options, home help or benefits.
What if I don’t see myself as a carer?
Many people do not see themselves as a ‘carer’ in the formal sense. You might see caring as your natural duty or responsibility because the person you care for is a family member or partner. Regardless of who you are or how you see yourself, if you care for someone with a mental health problem you are entitled to help.
Why are Carers important?
Carers provide an enormous amount of help in the home and support in the community for people with mental health difficulties.
Why should I get involved with my Local Mental Health Team?
With agreement from your loved one, it is always useful to involve you. You are likely to know more about the person you care for than anybody else. We need to hear the knowledge and experience you have of their mental health problems and what has helped in the past.
How will this help?
This can be very useful when the best course of treatment and support is being developed for the person you care for.
How can my Local Mental Health Team help me?
We see it as our job to support you as a carer or family member.
This involves listening to your experience so we can get you the most appropriate type of help and support. We know your role may be difficult, demanding and lonely, and we know that there may be times when you need help and support.
The Journey Together is a booklet produced by the HSE for families and friends of people experiencing mental health difficulties