People with a mental illness benefit a lot from the care of those around them. Friends and family members often provide unpaid support and encouragement that could not be matched by public services. The caring role can be rewarding, but it also comes with pressures. If you are caring for someone with a mental illness, there are various forms of support available. One option is to ask the local authority to assess your needs as a carer. If you are assessed as having needs, services can be put in place to help you to provide care effectively. This could include breaks from caring or other forms of support.
• Your right to a carer’s assessment is protected by law even if the person you care for is refusing help.
• You may not consider yourself to be a carer, but you will meet the legal definition if you provide substantial care on a regular basis to an adult.
• The assessor should consider your full situation, including whether you would like to work and what would help you to access leisure, education or lifelong learning activities
• Services can include access to short breaks, more care for the person you care for, access to support services and help with household tasks.
• Carers can also direct payments to pay for services they need for themselves.
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in February 2013. Next review February 2015.
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