What is World Mental Health Day?

Each year on 10 October we celebrate World Mental Health Day. The aim of this day is to help raise awareness of mental health and for people dealing with mental health problems to live better lives with dignity.

What mental health support do Carers Leeds offer?

We provide support for carers who look after someone experiencing mental health problems, and also work with carers to improve their own health and wellbeing.

Here we introduce Hayley, one of team members who provides specialist support to carers of people living with mental health problems.

‘Hello, my name is Hayley Burke I am a Mental Health and Learning Disability Carer Support Worker.  My role is to support carers of adults with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues who live in Leeds. I have worked with the team for over 10 years and find it very rewarding. I have a busy home life – with 2 young children and a partner – life is very busy and can be stressful.

The Carers Leeds mental health and learning disabilities services usually offer face to face appointments, carers groups and education courses. However, as lockdown hit, instead of face to face meetings in a variety of places, we have moved to supporting carers online and over the phone.

We understand that by moving things online can cause some barriers and stress for people so we have worked hard to help people through this change. I have been running the learning disabilities carers group through Zoom. We helped provide tablets for people to get online,  IT training and help for people to learn how to use the tablets and have been keeping in contact over the phone with isolated and vulnerable carers.

The virus and all the things associated with lockdown, has created alot of anxiety for everyone and has made many carers jobs even harder – which in turn is having an impact on their own mental health. We would encourage all carers to contact us and ask for help, even if it’s just for a friendly chat.’

Specialist support for carers of people with mental health problems

If you are a person who provides or intends to provide care for another adult with mental health needs, either as a relative or friend who assists that person, then you can identify as a carer.

At Carers Leeds we have four Mental Health Carer Support Workers who are there to support you. They can help you identify the support you need, and work with you to achieve your identified goals.

The support workers are available for you to talk to. They can help you get your views across to staff in mental health services and provide information that will help in your caring role, or support you to understand the health issues of the person you care for. They can offer structured one to one support sessions for an agreed length of time. At present these sessions are being undertaken through Zoom and phone calls until  face to face meetings can resume again due to Covid 19 restrictions.

The mental health care and support workers at Carers Leeds are friendly and proactive. They will always listen to you. The service is confidential and aims to support and signpost you in your caring role.  At Carers Leeds we understand being a carer often places huge demands on your time. We would just ask that if we arrange to contact you and you are not going to be available, then rearrange the time and date to ensure you are able to benefit from our support, and have time to discuss things fully.

The workers can be flexible around your needs. They will look at devising a care plan with you. They can make carers assessment referrals, signpost to other services, provide information about Time for Carers Grants and many other things.

As with all Carers Leeds services, the support we offer is for you, the carer, around your caring role and not the person you care for.

How can I get support?

You can sign up for the Carers Leeds newsletter to keep you informed with all the up and coming events and information.

If you are a carer and you want to access support, call our advice line on: 0113 380 4300 or email advice@carersleeds.org.uk.

If you’re a professional working with a carer and you would like to refer them, contact our advice line on: 0113 380 4300 or fill in this referral form.