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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Carers urged to take good care of their mental health

Published: 12/09/2016

It is estimated that 1 in 8 adults are carers in the UK, pIt is estimated that 1 in 8 adults are carers in the UK, providing vital support to loved ones and helping them live well with their physical or mental health, often forgetting to take good care of their own health.

Taking care of another person can be emotionally challenging and isolating, which may lead to anxiety and depression. It is also very difficult for carers to find time to talk about these challenges and how they have an impact on their overall health and wellbeing, but easy access to talking therapy support in Birmingham can help. 

Birmingham Healthy Minds is an NHS psychological therapy service, providing free and confidential access to talking therapies in a variety of settings by professionally trained and accredited practitioners. This friendly and easy to access team can help carers find a time and place that is suitable for them to get the support they need to maintain their own mental health and wellbeing. 

Kully Ingram, Birmingham Healthy Minds’ Community Services Manager at Birmingham at Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Everyone can find it hard to cope with the pressures and responsibilities of everyday life and being a carer can lead to these difficulties becoming too much to cope with alone.

“We have carefully developed our services to make it easier to access the support that we offer. You can talk to your GP, who is able to refer you to our services or you can self-refer directly on 0121 301 2525 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). 


Carers taking a break
NHS Photo Library download of carers taking a break

“We also have walk-in services across Birmingham on various days and locations, including Kingstanding, Northfield, Selly Oak and Sutton Coldfield. There is also Amman walk-in services in Handsworth and Sparkhill, where our dedicated NHS professionals can discuss your needs in Punjabi, Mirpuri, Urdu and Bengali, as well as English.

“Sometimes taking that first step towards support by talking to someone about how you are feeling is the most difficult part. Our team of NHS professionals provide advice and guidance, in confidence, to help you find the right support and direct you to wards the most appropriate service. Get in touch and let us help take care of you.”

Birmingham Healthy Minds’ services support people experiencing common mental health problems, including anxiety, low confidence or self-esteem, depression, low mood and stress. Their services are available to anyone who is aged 16 and over, registered with a GP in Birmingham. The talking therapies delivered help people to gain coping strategies and manage symptoms by using a variety of interventions such as one-to-one talking therapies, mindfulness, anxiety and stress management courses, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (cCBT) as well as group intervention for self-esteem.

Referrals can be made by your GP in Birmingham or by direct access. Direct access to services is available by calling 0121 301 2525 (between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays), emailing* the team at BHM@bsmhft.nhs.uk, texting** ‘BHM’ to 60777 or by using the online referral form at www.birminghamhealthyminds.org where there are also many self-help advice booklets to download. There are also walk-in centres across Birmingham that can be accessed at a variety of times, without an appointment.  

Further details on Birmingham Healthy Minds’ services, including walk-in centre locations and opening times, can be found at www.birminghamhealthyminds.org 

*Please be aware that should you choose to email us we cannot guarantee the security of the contents of your email while in transit to us. **By texting us on 60777, you are agreeing for Birmingham Healthy Minds to contact you (who are part of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust) to receive further information on our service. This will cost you the price of standard rate text message.