30 November 2018
Helping our carers to look after themselves
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership is reminding carers
to ensure they stay healthy and connected and look after their own
wellbeing needs by accessing the help and support they are entitled
The message comes on Carer's Rights Day (Friday 30 November)
with the Trust highlighting the help and support it offers to
carers who look after someone with a mental health condition.
AWP's Director of Nursing, Julie Kerry, said: "At AWP we
recognise that carers play a huge role in supporting their loved
ones. We value the experience and expertise that they have and work
with them in order to provide the best possible care. We also make
sure carers have access to an assessment of their own needs and
involve them in the planning and development of our services.
"Carers often carry out their role around the clock and many
don't get the opportunity to take a break, so we'd like to use
Carer's Rights Day to remind them to find out about benefits,
financial support and other help they might be able to access."
The Care Act 2014 defines a carer as 'someone who helps another
person, usually a relative or friend, in their day-to-day life.
This is not the same as someone who provides care professionally,
or through a voluntary organisation.'
Staff and carers from across AWP have worked together to produce
the AWP Family, Friends and Carers Charter, which demonstrates the
Trust's commitment to working with carers and is a great starting
point for informing carers about what they can expect when their
relative or friend is receiving support from the Trust.
Included in the 11 points that make up the charter are pledges
on the value the Trust places on the experience and knowledge that
carers have in order to treat them as equal partners. The Trust is
committed to involving and supporting carers, giving access to the
right information at the right time and assessing a carers' own
Jess, who is a carer, said: "Many people become carers
automatically as part of their role as a parent, partner or in
looking after their parents or loved ones. Initially I felt that
asking for help and support was a sign of failure, but I really
wished I'd done it sooner. Accessing help is about taking steps to
look after your own wellbeing, as well as the person you care for.
If you don't look after yourself, how can you care and support
"I would advise anyone who provides a caring role to find out
what support and help is available so that they can continue to
provide the best possible care to their loved ones."
Hear from a local carer, Jess:
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To find out more about the AWP Family, Friends and Carers
A list of support groups and services for carers can be found on
the AWP website /advice-support/service-users/support-groups/