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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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New self help guide for carers

The national charity Rethink Mental Illness and the Meriden Family Programme have launched a free downloadable self-help guide for carers of people affected by mental illness.

Caring for Yourself, was launched during National Carers Week in June, is aimed at anybody who cares for someone affected by a mental illness, whether they are a parent, sibling or friend.

Carers Week celebrates and recognises the contribution the UK’s six million unpaid carers make to those they care for, and their own communities.

The guide, which consists of eight booklets, offers tips and exercises on how carers can maintain their own wellbeing as well as supporting the person they care for. The topics covered include getting hold of the right information, relapse management, and hope and recovery.

Paul Jenkins, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Caring for someone with a mental illness can be a difficult and lonely role, and too often the needs of carers are overlooked.

“We hope that this guide will help equip people with the information and coping methods they need to look after themselves as well as the person they care for.”

Gráinne Fadden, director of the Meriden Family Programme said: “We know that many people do a lot to support relatives and friends with mental health problems, but don’t have enough support. Often people can’t get to support groups or meetings, or are not offered family work.

“They need information and help to understand their situation, what they can do to support their relative and how to cope. We hope that Caring for Yourself will help people get the support they desperately need.”

Caring for Yourself is free to download at www.rethink.org/caringforyourself, or from the Meriden Family Programme on www.meridenfamilyprogramme.com.

To obtain a hard copy contact Sam Farooq on 0121 678 2712.