A special event to celebrate the contribution made by carers was held in Swinton last week. The Carers Matter event was organised by GMW's C.A.R.E Hub Lead to highlight the essential unpaid care that carers provide and set staff some challenging targets for working with carers over the next 12 months.
The C.A.R.E. Hub works in partnership with and gets feedback from carers, service users, volunteers, staff and external customer based organisations to develop the care the Trust provides.
The event, organised with the input of local carers, celebrated the vital contribution made by carers to their families and communities. These carers provide everyday essential unpaid care for someone who is ill, frail or disabled.
There are over a million people caring for someone with a mental health problem in the UK. The Trust works closely with carers of their patients who have severe mental health and/or substance misuse problems and hopes to raise awareness of the diverse range of people who give up their time, money and health to look after somebody else.
Carers and Carer Champions from across the Trust’s services attended the event where senior staff, including the Chair of the Trust and its Governors, thanked them for the work they do, often without recognition, each and every day, and was a chance for carers, and those services which are supporting them, to have really useful conversations.
The event also gave carers the opportunity to meet people in a similar situation, share their experiences and find out more about the support available to them.
Tracy Collard, CARE Hub Lead, said, “One in four of us will be affected by mental health problems in any year and an estimated 2 million people in the UK are fighting an addiction. This has resulted in a growing number of people who care for someone with mental health and/or substance misuse problems.
‘We understand that caring for someone can be an emotionally and physically demanding time. Carers are affected by mental health issues such as stress and depression and often don’t have the time to look after their own health and wellbeing.
“By listening carefully to our carers and involving them in our work we can start to build up a picture of what they want and need, and how our staff can help and support them in their crucial role.”
The Trust runs carer awareness training for staff and employs Carer Champions who are based on most wards and community teams across the Trust. Carer Champions support carers both practically and emotionally, signpost them to useful information and let them know which benefits they’re entitled to.
The Trust’s care coordinators ensure carers are offered assessments and know about local carer support groups, which they can contact for advice and information. A short film Mental Health Carers has been produced by the Trust specifically for carers about carers.
To find out more about GMW’s services for carers visit: Carer Information
A carer is defined as someone who provides unpaid support to a relative, partner, child or friend due to illness, disability, frailty, a mental health condition or substance misuse problems. Many people are carers without realising it.