To mark ‘Carers week 2010’, which runs from 14th -20th June, the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging the six million carers in the UK who dedicate their time providing unpaid care to a relative or friend to consider their own mental wellbeing.
The Trust is the local provider of mental health and learning disability services in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield and it recognises the valuable role carers play in looking after and supporting these.
The UK’s carers are, quite literally, indispensable. By providing unpaid care for someone they know who is ill, frail or disabled, they save the economy an incredible £87 billion – the same cost of running the NHS.
Despite this carers often face a lack of recognition in all areas of their lives. The main consequence of this lack of recognition is that carers suffer more than they need to and can struggle with their finances, health, job, social life and general wellbeing.
Carers Week 2010 aims to combat this by highlighting and celebrating the incredible contribution that carers make, sharing the positive experiences as well as the more difficult.
This year’s Carers Week is calling for greater support for carers to allow them to maintain a life of their own. The Trust is backing the campaign for greater recognition and support for carers, something it has always worked hard to achieve locally. The Trust runs special groups for carers and also tries to put them in touch with other local organisations who can provide them with additional vital help and support.
The Trust is particularly concerned about the emotional wellbeing of carers. A report by the Social Exclusion Unit showed that people who provide substantial amounts of care to relatives are twice as likely to have a mental health problem as the general population.
Chief executive Steven Michael said, "It is important for us to remember the needs of carers as well as the needs of people who use our services, and support them as best we can. As well as running dialogue and support groups for carers, we also organise a variety of events throughout the year. Through activities such as carers’ treats days, information stalls and carers’ days out, we aim to not only highlight the issues carers face, but to also celebrate their vital role and let people know what support is available."
A variety of events are taking place across the country which call for greater recognition and support for carers and inform those who are unaware of the benefits available. Events are also designed to show carers how much they are valued and to thank them for their work. To find out about events in your area look online at www.carersweek.org
For more information about the Trust’s dialogue groups contact the inclusion team on (freephone) 0800 587 2103. There is also detailed information on the Trust’s website for local carers of people with mental health problems and learning disabilities, including how carers can get help and advice, carers’ assessments and ways to be involved in improving local services. Visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk