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What carers, families and friends can do to help themselves?

When your relative or friend is unwell, it’s really hard to think of your own needs – but looking after yourself is vital – there is a real risk that, if you don’t, you may eventually become physically or emotionally unwell yourself.

“As a parent and carer of two sons with psychosis I know all too well that putting your own needs always at the bottom of your personal pile of demands and responsibilities can result in illness. I have become severely clinically depressed several times during my years of caring.

I felt that my own life could happen later – once my sons’ health was ‘fixed’. It was only when, as a service user myself, I realised that I needed to stay well too. At this stage I took up all the help and support I could get and started on my own personal journey of Recovery.

If you have travelled on a plane you’ll be familiar with the safety advice – that if the oxygen masks are activated, in an emergency, you need to put yours on first before helping anyone you are caring for. The risk being if you don’t you may lose consciousness before you can help others – it really is just as crucial for us carers to put our wellbeing first. “

Carer – Worcestershire

So how can you help yourself?

Make it a priority to put aside time to think about what you need. This section has a range of resources and tools that you can use to help look after yourself, as well as inspirational caregiver narratives.  Have a browse to find out which tools and resources are the most useful for you.

Find out more about:

Wellbeing 
Caring for yourself 
Tools for Recovery
Triangle of Care
Recovery Experiences 
Psycho-education and carer education

Helpful services for carers
Recovery resources for professionals