Information for carers, friends and families
A carer is someone who looks after a partner, friend or relative whether or not they live in the same place.
Supporting someone with a mental health problem can be rewarding, but it can also be difficult and sometimes lonely. Having good information at the right time and knowing where to get help and support can make all the difference.
A carer is someone who gives practical or emotional support. Not everyone thinks of themselves as a carer but they may well be and may be able to get financial or practical help.
We are committed to informing, involving and supporting carers, family members and friends as partners in the care of people using our services. We are Gold Star members of the Carers’ Trust’s ‘Triangle of Care’ membership scheme that promotes shared working between carers, professionals and people using services.
The Carers Friends and Families Reference group (CFFRG)
This long-standing group meets bi-monthly to consider quality and patient and carer experience. Individual members of the CFFRG live in the five boroughs we cover and has representation from organisations that support carers within the Boroughs including the five Carers Centres. They consider the same reports on quality used in our internal governance, receive reports in person from various teams, and provide feedback on recent and current issues affecting people who have contact with our services. To find out more about how to become involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Support in a crisis
24/7 Mental health crisis line
If you need mental health support in a crisis you can call our 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line on 0800 028 8000. The Mental Health Crisis Line offers emotional support and advice to people who are affected by urgent mental health issues, at any time of the day or night. It is open to everyone: both children and adults of all ages, and to people who haven’t previously accessed mental health services.
Please only attend A&E if you have an emergency with your physical health. The Mental Health Crisis Line can help and direct you to the right service for your mental health.
If you are already a patient (adult or young person under the age of 18) at our Trust, between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday we encourage you to call the mental health team that looks after you. You can find their contact details here. Otherwise, please contact the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line.
If you are calling urgently from a partner agency and require support and direction, you are encouraged to also contact the 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line.
If you need more general advice and support with your mental health, please see our Advice and support page.
If you are Deaf, you can call our Mental Health Support Line using Sign Live Video Relay Service (VRS): :
- On a computer, go to https://signlive.co.uk/login/ and register using Facebook, Google or email
- On phone, iPad or tablet download SignLive’s app for free and register
You will then be able to call the Trust for free.
We recognise that carers have a very important role in supporting the lives of those who use our services whatever their age. Carers have a unique and valued perspective that we want to support with commitments from our staff in using the 3iS approach.
3iS is an approach that was created by our carers in workshops and this now forms the basis of our Carers Charter which has also been developed in consultation with the Trust's Carers, Friends and Family reference group.
It sets out four key commitments from to carers. To:
- Involve, and
You can read more about the Carers' Charter in this leaflet
Recovery for Friends, Families and Partners
Friends, families and partners of people living with mental health difficulties go through their own challenges. These four stand-alone sessions offer be a safe space to explore and learn in a group about your needs and strengths and learn skills to make the best of life. All sessions take place at the Recovery college, Springfield Hospital. We recommend that you book a place on all 4 sessions if you can but these are designed to be individual sessions as well. Find out more here