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
All in MS Word format
- Life in the Fast Lane
A mother describes how her family changed forever when her daughter was admitted to hospital under section.
- Unsuspecting Carer's Tale
A father movingly describes the impact on his family of having to grapple with his son’s mental health problems without information or support
- Who Will Listen?
A wife describes the impact on the life of her family when her husband became unwell, and highlights the dangers of mental health professionals seeing only one side of the story.
- Jenni's story
A mother describes the impact that receiving Behavioural Family Therapy had on her family.
- Mental Health and My Family
A man describes how he feels about his life with schizophrenia.
- A life after Caring
A carer for many years describes how he coped with life after the death of his wife.
- Letter of commendation
A letter of commendation from a family to Sandwell Mental Health & Social Care NHS Trust.
- Peter's story
A father shares his feelings about his son's illness, and the lack of information given to him.
- Parents of a young man with paranoid psychosis talk about what it meant for them to be offered Behavioural Family Therapy
- A “Lady of Leisure”
A wife talks of her experience in caring for her husband with dementia.
- Ron’s story
A father talks of his experiences of Early Intervention and support offered by the team.
- Experiences of Mental Health Services for Psychosis
A mother gives her perspectives on the differences between traditional and Early Intervention Services.
All in MS Word format
- Celia Soden
A mother writes her poetry in rap form describing her life with her son, their feelings and his illness
- Carer on the Job
- Caring is Wearing
- Consider yourself a Vehicle
- Take a Pat on the Back
- The Name is the Game
- The Train
- F Lemaitre
A carer describes in poetry the effect of a relatives illness on her life.
- Georgina Wakefield
A Mother, who has written books to help families and carers, shares her poetry.
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.
- Download the full report here (PDF file, 708KB)
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 www.rcpsych.ac.uk. If you would like further information about the Partners in Care campaign in the West Midlands please contact Martin Atchison at Martin.Atchison@bsmhft.nhs.uk.
Report from the first West Midlands Partners in Care event held in Birmingham:
- Partners In Care Campaign Report (PDF format)
- Partners In Care Campaign Report (MS Word format)
- North Staffs (MS Word format)
- Sandwell (MS Word format)
- South Warwickshire (MS Word format)
- Worcester (MS Word format)
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.
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.
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.