Supporting someone with a mental illness - You
Looking after yourself
If you care for someone with a mental illness, you might find it stressful and difficult. It is important to look after your own health and wellbeing. You can try some of the following things to help look after yourself:
- Understand what you can and can’t do as a carer
- Understand what the person you care for can and can’t do
- Give yourself time to do things you want to do, such as a hobby or leisure activity
- Try and keep physically active and have a well balanced diet
- Keep an eye on your own health and know when you need a break
- Join a carers or support group for peer support. You can also use an emotional support service if you are unable to get to meetings.
- If you are feeling low or stressed, talk to your doctor about this - perhaps counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or other treatment will help you.
You may have to organise appointments or meetings if you are supporting someone with a mental illness. There are some things you can do to help with this:
- Keep a diary for their appointments and meetings.
- Keep a diary of medications and times to be taken, checking them off as they are taken
- Know what benefits you may be entitled to.
- Ask your local council’s social services department for a ‘carer’s assessment’. This assessment will see if you need any services to help you support someone.
- See if there are any local services that can help you with practical support. Your local authority may have an updated list of local carers groups and services. Check their website or call them.
You can find out more about carers assessments here.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays