Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Health and Caring GRT Health and Caring

Welcome..

..and if you are a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller yourself, thank you for visiting our page.

We know how hard it can be to trust those offering help outside your family or community.

We hope you will read the rest of our page to find out why we want to help change these attitudes, why we want to help you and your family and how you can help us do that.

Gypsies, Romas and Travellers face many health inequalities and experience poorer health in general than the population as a whole, including

  • Low uptake rates of immunisation
  • High infant, child and maternal mortality rates
  • High rates of chronic long-term illness such as diabetes and heart disease
  • High rates of mental health distress such as anxiety and depression.
  • High rates of premature death with a life expectancy of 10-25 years lower than the general population

 

Why this concerns us

Travellers and gypsies are much more likely to have a long-term illness, health problem or disability.

This would imply that many travellers will take up the responsibility of looking after family and community members that couldn’t manage without them. Although close communities will naturally support their families and friends, unpaid care givers don’t have to do it alone.

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller carers are not always getting the help they deserve. We want to change that. Carers earn it!

 

Why we want to help

Looking after someone else’s needs is often an act of love, duty and privilege. It can also be tiring, stressful and at times lonely.

As our organisations learns more about the challenges travellers face, we realise stress and isolation is usually a big part of travellers lives. Add the stresses and strains often associated with caring-and we feel this is too much to cope with alone.


Blues and nerves in GRT communities

Mental health problems such as blues and nerves (anxiety, stress and depression) is high amongst travellers, especially those forced into housing. Another major cause is hiding their identity.

Experience of, or the constant fear of prejudice, racism or other types of discrimination, can have a major impact on their lives.

Add this to forced evictions, constant harassment and the physical health problems many travellers face and you start to get a picture of the emotional challenges this community face.

Travellers develop coping strategies such as hiding their identity and when they are facing difficulties, are very unlikely to ask for help outside of their own community. This results in a lack of awareness of services available, and can add to feelings of isolation.

How we can help carers

Carers who are from the GRT community have told us these would be the most important things to them:

  • Having someone to talk to
  • Help accessing other services
  • Getting their voice heard

If these-or any of our other services would make a difference to you, we hope you will contact us and give us a chance to learn what would make your life easier as a carer.