One of the key aims of the Meriden Programme is to ensure the involvement of carers and service users in both the training and delivery of family work. As such, the programme has trained a number of carers as family work practitioners and several family work trainers. Mr Peter Woodhams, carer and former Chair of the Meriden Advisory Group, now works for the Team as a Carer Consultant.
Peter is running a Family Work Carers Network for those who have an interest in family work, have benefited from family work or participate in the training of family workers. If you are interested in joining this network, please contact Peter.

Peter can be contacted on;
Telephone: 0121 301 2708

Meriden Resources


All in MS Word format


All in MS Word format

Related Articles and Resources

Scoping Exercise to Inform the Development of a National Mental Health Carer Support Curriculum

This report outlines the results of a scoping exercise funded by the Department of Health to inform the development of a national curriculum and training modules for mental health professionals to improve the support provided to mental health carers.

Surveys on Carers' Experiences

The table chronologically documents various surveys that have been or are currently being conducted with regard to carers’ experiences. For more information about each survey, please click on the links provided.

Partners In Care Campaign

“Partners in Care” was a joint campaign between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers. The aim of the campaign was to highlight carers' issues and to improve services for carers. The campaign drew to a close in September 2005, but the values of the campaign will continue to impact on and improve services.
The Meriden Programme, West Midlands Carers in Partnership and the West Midlands Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists supported each Trust in the West Midlands to hold an event to highlight the campaign.
Several Trusts held events and reports of these are available below.  If you would like more information about the campaign and the developments that have been achieved, please log on to If you would like further information about the Partners in Care campaign in the West Midlands please contact Martin Atchison at

Report from the first West Midlands Partners in Care event held in Birmingham:

Road shows:

In addition, a “Partners In Care” Resource pack was developed nationally, to which the Meriden Programme contributed. This is an excellent training resource and is available through the Royal College.

Meriden Conferences and Training

The “Caring for Carers” Programme

The aim of this course is to prepare participants, both carers and professionals, to deliver an eleven-week programme covering information-sharing, coping strategies and support to carers of people experiencing mental health difficulties.  This is achieved through experiential learning, and the provision of an extensive range of written materials. A detailed manual has been prepared with eleven modules covering the following topics:

  • Introduction – the experience of mental health problems in a family
  • Experiences of caring
  • Information sharing – assessment and treatments
  • Information on local mental health services
  • Communication in families
  • Communicating with professionals
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with crisis and relapse management
  • Recovery and hope
  • Taking care of your own health

Since 2005, the “Caring for Carers” programme has been delivered on a number of occasions and has been adapted to meet the needs of specific groups of carers. A Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) programme had been produced, and also a substance misuse adaptation, both of which received excellent feedback and evaluation.
For further details and copies of the evaluations, see our Caring for Carers section.

Related Links

Carers in Partnership CIC 

Carers in Partnership is an organisation which promotes the involvement of family members and friends in the way that mental health services are planned, set up and run across the West Midlands. Carers in Partnership seek to help and inform carers who wish to be involved in, and informed about, the development of quality mental health services. 
Membership is free and members can benefit by participating in events which make them better informed and prepared, for example;

  • Hearing about new government initiatives and sharing experiences with other carers,
  • Joining one of the working groups which are currently older adults and carers from black and minority ethnic groups,
  • Helping carers to work to influence services locally,
  • Teaching students and professional workers,
  • Providing a network for carers including young carers,

Further details and resources can be accessed through their web-site


Supporting Carers Better

The Supporting Carers Better Network, hosted by Attend, is an organisation set up for all people supporting carers in mental health in England. Its aims are to identify and share good practice, and to connect people.


Rethink, the leading national mental health membership charity, works to help everyone affected by severe mental illness recover a better quality of life.