Caring for Carers

Juggling mental health issues with caring responsibilities

When John’s parents died he took on the responsibility to care for his brother Peter who has autism and long-term mental health issues as well as physical health problems. John has himself been receiving support from Guideposts Mental Health Services for nearly 10 years to help him manage his long-term mental health condition.

As Peter’s sole carer, John takes his caring responsibilities very seriously. He plays a vital part in ensuring Peter accesses the health and care support he requires and regularly acts as an advocate for his brother.

John has been nonetheless struggling with balancing his caring role with his mental illness, and Guideposts has been working with John over the past three years to ensure he receives the practical and emotional support he needs to cope in his caring role.

Support for John

John attends Guideposts’ weekly Caring for Carers support group, giving him a chance to offload, access peer support and share caring tips. Guideposts has also been supporting John to attend training courses including Caring and Coping, and autism awareness courses which John found very helpful.

“Guideposts is supportive, caring and practical. They can really help you with things.”

John has also been having 1:1 coaching sessions with Lin, Guideposts’ caring coordinator, to balance his own mental illness with his caring role. During that time, John was able to identify that most of his challenges stemmed from a breakdown in communication with his brother, leading to ongoing conflicts, and preventing them from building a mutually beneficial relationship.

Having decided that this was the area to work on, John recently agreed to try a new option. They have now arranged some sessions for John and Peter together, to try working through some of their issues with the help of mediator and a formal agenda: giving them both a neutral and structured platform for communication and resolution.

John is looking forward to the sessions starting; it has filled him with hope that a solution can be found to help him in his long-term role, to the benefit of both his brother’s and his own welfare.

Can you help?

Please help us to continue to help carers like John. You can give to our Carers at Christmas campaign online or call us on 01993 893560.

Caring at Christmas Campaign Graphic

Comments are closed.