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Looking after someone with mental health illness

Looking after someone who cannot look after themselves, while often rewarding, can also be physically and emotionally challenging. If you are juggling a job or family responsibilities in addition to your caring role, it can be particularly difficult.

There may be times when you feel overwhelmed, exhausted and unable to cope. It is important to know that you can ask for help and that both short and long-term support is available.

Getting help from a GP

If you feel physically unwell or suspect that your caring responsibilities are affecting your mental wellbeing, the first thing to do is speak to your GP and tell them about your role as a carer.

As well as listening and treating your health concern, your GP will be able to refer you to services that can advise or support you (and the person you look after) while you recover.

If you are not registered with a doctor, you can use the My Health London search tool to find one.

Other local and national services

If you are worried or feeling anxious about yourself or someone you care for but do not want to speak to your GP, there are both local and national charities and services that can provide specialist information, advice and support. 

Richmond Carers Centre

Richmond Carers Centre provides information, advice and support for unpaid carers aged over 18 who are living in or caring for someone living in the borough. Staff at the centre have a range of skills and knowledge to help support you in your caring role and to have a life outside of caring.

Telephone: 020 8867 2380

Mind Richmond - Carers in Mind project

Carers in Mind provides a range of specialist services for carers, families and friends supporting someone with severe mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder and severe anxiety and depression disorders. This includes specialist one-to-one support, information, advice and guidance.

Telephone: 020 8940 7384

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness is a national charity that offers a range of advice and support including information on treatment and care, benefits and employment rights.

Telephone: 0300 5000 927

NHS information

The NHS website is a good source of information and has a range of advice pages on stress, anxiety and depression, and general wellbeing.

Updated: 17 April 2023

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