Information for professionals - The Triangle of Care - Families and carers included
Ruth Hannan of the Carers Trust tells us about the Triangle of Care project and the six principles that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers and families.
The Triangle of Care project is an initiative we’re running at The Carers' Trust (formerly known as the Princes Royal Trust for Carers); to bring together carers, carers’ centres, third sector organisations and mental health service providers to work to achieve the principles set out in our guide The Triangle of Care, Carers Included: A Guide to Best Practice in Mental Health Care.
The launch of The Triangle of Care guide in July 2010 was the culmination of a number of years of research into the information and support that people caring for someone with mental illness need from service providers.
The guide is a valuable tool for:
- bringing together mental health service providers
- sharing best practice and building on current practice
- self-assessments of existing service provision
- offering support and encouragement to mental health providers to deliver best practice consistently.
It also clearly spells out what all carers should expect from mental health services.
The guide was well-received, and had further validation when it was included in the Government’s strategies for mental health and carer service provision and social inclusion – The Carers Strategy refresh in November 2010 and No Health without Mental Health in February 2011.
Our Triangle of Care project aims to ensure all carers; whether young or adult, sibling or parent receive consistent information and support to enable them to feel included and better support the person they care for.
The project aims to continue to find good practice across the country and we are keen to promote a whole family approach as many families offer a range of support to service user as opposed to one single individual fulfilling this role on their own.
What does The Triangle of Care mean for carers?
The Triangle of Care brings together many years of research with carers into what they feel will benefit them when involved with mental health services. It is based on six principles that mental health trusts can use to include and support carers. It explores what each principle means in practice and provides good practice examples. Although the examples are from England the principles apply to any mental health service provision.
Carers are often the only constant in the service user’s mental health care journey. They are there when crisis occurs, when the person is well and when that person needs support with day-to-day activities. They often understand the service user’s needs and condition extremely well and as such are a vital partner in care.
If professionals can recognise the support that carers give service users and acknowledge them as a key partner in care then service users will receive better care and support on their journey to recovery. Significantly, if carers are acknowledged and supported then they too are more likely to maintain or improve their own wellbeing.
You can download our Triangle of Care guide and other documents developed for the benefit of carers and professional service providers on our website.
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Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays