Family, friends and carers

Supporting someone who has a mental health condition can be difficult for family, friends and carers but it is important to remember that help and support is available. Taking care of your own wellbeing will mean you are better prepared to support someone else with their recovery.

If you support someone who is unwell you are considered a carer. A carer doesn’t have to be someone who lives in the same home as the person who requires support, although many carers do live with those they care for. It could be a person who keeps in touch over the telephone or is available to listen as a friend. People of all ages can be carers including children and young adults.

At Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, we use the term “carer”. However if you don’t like this word and would prefer it if we use words like wife, husband / partner,  daughter / son, friend or neighbour then just let us know. We’ll be guided by you.

You can speak to the worker who is involved with the person you care for. This may be a community psychiatric nurse, occupational therapist, social worker, a nurse on a ward or a psychiatrist. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It is the responsibility of all our staff to work in partnership with carers.

You can also find some helpful advice about caring for someone during the coronavirus response. To help people stay in touch and in addition to the use of video calls, we have set up a Letters to Loved Ones email address that families and friends can use to send messages to their loved ones whilst they are in our care.