Who is a carer?
A carer is a person who gives up their own time, often without payment, recognition or thanks to help another person who could not manage without their help. This could be caring for a relative, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems.
Carers may be expected to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Being a carer includes anything from giving emotional support through to providing a lot of practical support to enable someone to live their life from day to day. Carers are, in fact, normal people who out of a sense of love, duty and compassion, struggle to live their own lives and, at the same time, do their best to help a partner, sibling, son/daughter or friend to achieve something in their lives. They may be the only person who is trusted by the unwell friend or relative.
Understanding and educating yourself as a carer about mental illness / disorders is one of the first and most important steps to coping with caring. The Royal College of Psychiatrists provides the best quality assured up-to-date, thorough and accessible information leaflets on mental illness and conditions. Please click on the links below relevant to you from our A-Z list below which will take you directly to information to the information leaflet produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.