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carers of people with mental health issues - Carers UK Forum

carers of people with mental health issues

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
What, in this new proposed system is going to happen to them and their carees?
Has cuk been involved with this area?
Its not only the elderly who are suffering from lack of provision.
The list is long for many of all ages,
Schitzophrenia,
bi polar,
agoraphobia,
ocd
breakdowns
etc etc.
Many of these people may not be physically disabled , yet still need substantial care from us family members, if they have family.
Will their benefits be compromised if they dont seek work? And how can they go to work if they are ill? Will those trying to cope alone be forced by s.s to become employers? How can they do this?
Will the minority of carers who can get full ca by providing care for people with mental health issues loose out because of the DP introduction?
So many issues have not been thought out.
Also, while Im about it,
as Gordon Brown wants to take us into the 21st centuary,
Its time the outdated stigma of 'mental health' labeling was abolished.
Far too many people are suffering from discrimination because of this outdated lable.
It would be so easy to change the lable from mental health to psychological health,
so going forward into the 21st centuary , removing outdated and discriminatory lableling of people.
Rant over.
I agree completely, Tinker. The whole area of "mental health" is often overlooked and is historically under-resourced to the point that family are relied on to help but often with no advice or support.

As often happens when the media are involved - or those with the power are pandering to the media - the issues that matter to the media receive full attention, and of course elderly people receive a lot of attention: there are a lot of elderly people about and they are more likely to buy newspapers.

It hasn't helped that the government review for carers is not complete but they're making announcements about something that must affect it here, a bit of it there - and with no sense of the whole picture. They are so busy targeting the "idle" that they forget that it is not that cut and dried. But then anyone who considers benefit fraud more important than tax fraud (which is far higher) doesn't necessarily understand the difference between popular politics and reality.

Hopefully someone at CUK can help with what's happening where mental health is concerned?
Well done Tinker thank you I have been wanting to raise this issue for a long time, as it directly affects my situation, but as there be no mention of it anyway, I decided I had better keep quiet, but now it is out the open, I would like to ask if any provisions have been made for suffers of mentaly disabled people in all these consolltations.
Every consultation I know of had carers of people with mental health problems and with learning disabilities involved. Imelda Redmond's statement about the CSCI report makes it clear that she's referring to carers of people who are chronically ill and disabled - no specific mention of mental ill health, but this statement certainly doesn't exclude people in that situation.

On the government front, nothing much seemed to be happening - but I received this alert yesterday: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles

Although it makes no mention of carers, it shows that some of the problems are:

1) still with us (institutional without thinking about the needs of our carees)

2) created by the government (setting out directives but not supporting)

3) at least being talked about. As with everything else we've discussed lately - the jury is still out because we're waiting for the action.
Our definition of carers "Carers provide unpaid care by looking after an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner." doesn't mention mental health specifically but it does include mental health because it is both an illness and a disability.

Carers of people with mental health problems face many of the same problems that all carers face, however they also face some very different challanges to other carers. For example most of the legislation is very different, so different rules apply. There are more complex areas around issues of consent and confidentiality.

For Carers UK we are always aware when responding to Government that mental health is an area deserving of special attention, just as we would single out issues for young carers as being different. At Carers UK we accept that different disabilities bring different problems for carers and sometimes other organisations have better expertise, so we work alongside them - for example like Contact-a-Family who campaign for parents of disabled children.

There are some very good organisations / charities who work specifically to improve life for carers for people with mental health problems and Government talk to them about the specific issues, and Carers UK works with them. For example Carers UK works together with organisations like Supporting Carers Better : http://www.scbnetwork.org/

They are a network of organisation that support carers and they do a lot of campaigning work around caring and mental health. There are also organisations like Rethink, Mind and Saneline who all do specific campaigns and policy work around carers.

Matt
Just to let you know that FACTOR [[Families / Friends And Carers Together in Research] is holding a 1-day event for mental health carers to update people about current issues in mental health research.

Its taking place on 11 April, 10.45- 5pm in London - for more information/ to book see our website: www.carersuk.org/Getinvolved
Thanks everyone for your replies.
I think this issue is very important .
There is a lack of inclusion between departments and charitable organisations regarding the people who are physically disabled and have mental health problems or both.
Carers get pushed from pillar to post , sent to one charity after another, often those charities have area's, if one doesnt live in that area then they cant help.
Now, if when this new system comes out, are all disability and carers charities going to be offered more gov funding if they get people into work, and their carers?
Or will they amalgamate?
Social services are pushing dp's, many people are too sick to deal with them.
Many people dont want to go down this road. Can cuk give assurance that choice is available without compromising existing services?
Carers of people with complex psychologial needs (some with physical disability issues also) know that there is a void in the system that doesnt recognise their carees potential to contribute to society if they had the right support that many nhs proffesionals have trained for, yet lack of funding doesnt allow for, Therefore leaving many people with no individual support for their needs. Carers of people with mental health issues are from all ages, their carees are from all walks of society , not just the elderly suffering from age related dementia etc.
Are Mental health carers issues included in any of cuks leaflets , information, and have cuk got a mental health professional to help carers who come to the 'voice' of carers for help?
If not why not. Or are people who suffer from mental health issues and their carers not in cuk's agenda.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
I think this issue is very important .
There is a lack of inclusion between departments and charitable organisations regarding the people who are physically disabled and have mental health problems or both.
Carers get pushed from pillar to post , sent to one charity after another, often those charities have area's, if one doesnt live in that area then they cant help.
Now, if when this new system comes out, are all disability and carers charities going to be offered more gov funding if they get people into work, and their carers?
Or will they amalgamate?
Social services are pushing dp's, many people are too sick to deal with them.
Many people dont want to go down this road. Can cuk give assurance that choice is available without compromising existing services?
Carers of people with complex psychologial needs (some with physical disability issues also) know that there is a void in the system that doesnt recognise their carees potential to contribute to society if they had the right support that many nhs proffesionals have trained for, yet lack of funding doesnt allow for, Therefore leaving many people with no individual support for their needs. Carers of people with mental health issues are from all ages, their carees are from all walks of society , not just the elderly suffering from age related dementia etc.
Are Mental health carers issues included in any of cuks leaflets , information, and have cuk got a mental health professional to help carers who come to the 'voice' of carers for help?
If not why not. Or are people who suffer from mental health issues and their carers not in cuk's agenda.
Charities are set up and grow organically, in that a person or group of people see a need and start up. Because of this they sometimes have a very narrow focus: Rethink started out as a charity for people with schizophrenia and their carers. This has widened somewhat but still deals with mental health issues. But there is also MIND, and there are many smaller local charities. Carer charities, such as CUK and local carers centres, tend to have a wider remit in that they support carers - who can be caring for people with a hugely diverse range of illnesses and disabilities. Sometimes it is appropriate for a carers charity to either suggest that the carer approach another charity for their greater expertise in a given area, or to arrange to work with that charity where this is a better option.

The only way the government will give any charity money for "getting people into work" is if they fund charities for employment training programmes. This is possible but certainly not likely. They are far more likely to use private agencies as they have done for over 20 years now. Charities were set up to benefit their constituent membership: quite clearly any policy to dump many carers into work would not be of benefit. Imelda Redmond stated a few days ago that it would be wrong to replace all carers with paid workers. She also made it clear that help should be available to help carers to work or stay in work if that was what they wanted.

Charities do amalgamate sometimes. But rarely. More often they will co-operate over one issue or another, or on a project. The Expert Carers Programme is one such project, with at least 3 organisations working together to deliver it. I don't know any more than that about it as yet but it will be interesting to see how it works.

I doubt that CUK can give any assurances over what is the government's decision: however, I think you'll find that CUK has always said that Direct Payments should be a choice, not the only way to get help. Personally, I don't think that Direct Payments are all they are cracked up to be but they can be useful in some limited circumstances: I too am concerned that the government may go totally down that road. It would be wrong and would be likely to cause too many problems for too many people - leaving carers stuck again.

As far as your question about CUK and mental health issues, hopefully Matt can answer this, but all carers are part of the CUK agenda according to their Charity Commission details, and Matt has already mentioned some of the work being done in this field.

Hope this helps, Tinker.
Thank you Charles.
Like you, I agree that DP isnt the answer for everyone.
Charles said:
[quote]Personally, I don't think that Direct Payments are all they are cracked up to be but they can be useful in some limited circumstances]

I must be one of those limited circumstances as are over 100 other families in the Ayrshire area!

When it works it works well!

marie x