Looking after someone with a mental health illness

Looking after someone who cannot look after themselves, while often rewarding, can also be physically and emotionally challenging, particularly if you are juggling a job or family responsibilities in addition to your caring role. There may be times when you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to cope. It is important to know that you can ask for help and that both short and long-term support is available.

Carer’s mental and physical wellbeing

If you feel physically unwell or suspect that your caring responsibilities are affecting your mental wellbeing, the first thing to do is speak to your GP and tell them about your role as a carer. If you are not registered with a Doctor, you can use My Health London search tool to find one. As well as listening and treating your health concern, your GP will be able to refer you to services that can advise or support you (and the person you look after) while you recover.

If you are worried or feeling anxious about yourself or someone you care for but do not want to speak to your GP, there are both local and national charities and services that can provide specialist information, advice and support, some are listed below.

Carers assessment

All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment. The aim of the assessment is to help us understand you and your needs better, what impact caring is having your life and what support and information we can provide. If you would like an assessment or more information, please get in touch with us. You can also complete your assessment online in your own time.

Wandsworth Carers’ Centre

Wandsworth Carers’ Centre us a registered charity that provides support to unpaid carers in Wandsworth. Staff at the centre have a range of specialist skills and knowledge to help support you in your caring role and to have a life outside of you caring role.

Telephone: 020 8877 1200
Email: info@wandsworthcarers.org.uk
Website: www.carerswandsworth.org.uk

South West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust

The trust provides hospital and community support to people who are experiencing mental health problems. Their recovery college provides a range of informative courses on mental illness and support recovery.

Telephone: 020 3513 5818
Email: recoverycolleage@swlstg.nhs.uk
Website: www.swlstg.nhs.uk

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness is a national charity that offers a range of advice and support including information on treatment and care, benefits and employment rights.

Telephone: 0300 5000 927
Website: www.rethink.org

NHS information

The NHS website is a good source of information and advice, it offers a range of advice pages on stress, anxiety and depression and general wellbeing.