A carers group has been praised by a Hillingdon woman who says it’s been a lifeline for her, as she cares for a family member with severe mental illness.
The group, which helps over 160 people a year in the area, meets weekly in the centre of Hillingdon and is open to carers who are looking for support and information on looking after loved-ones with mental illnesses, such as depression or schizophrenia.
Anne*, who’s in her 70s, has been going to the group since 2009. She says: “I have looked after a family member with mental illness for 16 years. It’s been very stressful work and I have found that no one, except for Rethink Mental Illness, seems to care about the health of family members.
“It’s very important to have a group that’s specific for carers of people with mental illness because there are lots of issues specific to us, such as the fluctuating nature of mental illness. It’s really helped me to be able to discuss these issues and have found it extremely comforting talking to other people who’ve gone through similar problems to me. Without the charity’s help, I would have gone under.”
Diogo Duarte, who runs the group says: “This is a non-judgemental group where people meet weekly to share their concerns and learn from one another. We also bring a different speaker each time to discuss different aspects of being a carer of someone with a mental illness. We often get into in-depth discussions, so it’s important to the members that it’s a mental health specific group.
The group meets every Wednesday from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at Hayes End Methodist Church. For more information, please contact Diogo Duarte on 07918 166 242.
*Name has been changed to protect identity.
For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Maria Gandara, Senior Media Officer for Rethink Mental Illness on 020 7840 3138 or email email@example.com
Notes to editors
Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness.
For 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness.
We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.
We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions.
For more information go to www.rethink.org