Penny is our Specialist Support Team Lead

Caring for family or a friend who has mental health needs comes with so many challenges, and  a consistent issue for carers over the years has been their lack of voice in the ongoing care, treatment and support of those they care for.

We hear the carer’s stories of their resolute support and care for those they care for, the love and attention they give, and how they feel when the person they love is unwell, and when they recover.

A key part of that journey is getting services, and the right support. It’s essential that services properly understand the person’s needs, how their recovery will be maintained, and who needs to be part of that recovery.

It has been a privilege for me to see the impact of the work of our experienced team of Carer Wellbeing Mental Health Workers.  This is not only in supporting individual carers, but in raising the profile and awareness of carers with Mental Health Services.

You may have seen the documentary last week on the Langley Green Hospital?

Over the last 18 months, through working in partnership with key people at Langley Green Hospital, our Carer Wellbeing Workers, Debbie and Richard have supported carers to have their say.

Mark and Katy came to support groups and listened to carers.  From this understanding and insight, Carers were invited to develop with them for Langley Green Hospital:

  • A Carers Strategy.

  • A Welcome pack for Carers so all carers know what to expect.

  • A Regular Carers Forum where carers views are shared and reported on.

  • A Carer Liaison Worker.

  • Training for all Langley Green Hospital staff on the Triangle of Care- a holistic approach involving carers as an equal partner in a person’s treatment and recovery. This includes the challenges to this and how to manage them.

At a time when services are under huge financial and resource pressures, and families are under more pressure, this was change that became real and part of much, much bigger changes that were happening at Langley Green Hospital.

All we really need for change to be real is for us all to be prepared to listen, to seize opportunities, have a working relationship.

The ‘How’ is as important as the ‘What’.

Carers as equal partners in care is not more work, it is the work.

How to make change real…? Work Together!

If you are a carer for someone with a mental health need you may find the following information useful:

Improving Carers Experiences