17 November 2017

Family, Friends & Carers Charter explained

AWP is pleased to announce the publication of a new booklet written for carers by carers of people using our mental health services. Charter 250

Caring for someone who has a mental health condition can be challenging, time-consuming, exhausting, emotional and - if recovery is in sight - rewarding. But when the focus is on the person experiencing mental distress, the needs, rights and contributions of carers often get overlooked. It's easy for carers to feel isolated and overwhelmed - but support is available.

The launch of the Family, Friends & Carers Charter explained booklet is timed to coincide with this week's Carers Rights Day. Written by carers group KS2Bath, it is designed to complement the Trusts Family, Friends & Carers Charter, which sets out AWP's commitment to empowering carers and strengthening the Trust's relationships with families and friends of service users.

Mary, a carer who helped write the booklet, and our own Simon Stacey, Alder Unit Manager, popped in to BBC Radio Bristol at 9.45am on Saturday morning to discuss the booklet and the importance of support for carers. 

AWP chief executive Dr Hayley Richards said: "Carers are incredibly important. As well as giving emotional and practical support day-to-day, they often provide information and perspectives to clinicians that are critical to successful treatment.  A carer may also be the key to successful engagement between service users and clinical services. But the pressures on carers are considerable and this can affect their own health and wellbeing.

"This new booklet will help carers to understand their rights, the support and help they are entitled to and how to access it - and the ways in which AWP is committed to supporting them.

"My sincere thanks go to all the carers who helped write the booklet - which makes our Charter more meaningful and accessible to carers. The booklet will also help our staff across AWP to better understand how they can involve and support carers."

AWP's Carers Charter and the Families, Friends and Carers Charter explained booklet are both available on the AWP website and KS2 Bath website and will be appearing on our wards over the coming week.

Copies of the booklet are also being sent to local carers forums. To request a printed copy of the Charter or booklet, please contact awp.involvement@nhs.net.

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