Many organisations have been affected by the changes needed as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Some organisations are providing more limited services than normal and a few have had to close temporarily. The main websites listed and linked below will outline current services on offer during this difficult time.
Rethink have produced some helpful webpages specifically about mental health and Covid-19 including temporary changes in mental health law. There is also specific information for carers of those with severe mental illness.
If you are particularly worried about someone you care for at the moment, or your own mental health, there is also some helpful information on the Samaritans website.
The NHS has also put together some helpful resources to help you manage your health and wellbeing on your smartphone, tablet or computer on its NHS health at home pages
Mobilise is an organisation providing a daily e-support package through the Covid-19 crisis. It includes links to key information and updates on how other carers are finding ways of coping. They also offer a pre-booked free one-to-one call to talk through how to cope – including looking at support options and building an action plan with you. Mobilise is also running a pre-booked virtual ‘Cuppa’ for carers at varied times – a way to chat to other carers during this difficult time.
Carers UK is also organising online meet ups – including ‘care for a cuppa?’ with carers – as well as weekly online share and learn sessions.
Find out more about national, local and international services:
NATIONAL SERVICES (UK)
There are several national organisations which provide helplines and information services that may be helpful. All have very informative websites with lots of information about local support services, benefits and how you can look after your own physical and mental health and general wellbeing.
Here are the contact details and helpline phone numbers for the main organisations (Please check charges as not all are free lines):
Carers Direct Helpline: 0300 123 1053
The cost of the call is the same as a call to a number beginning 01 or 02 (known as geographic numbers). Ask if you need a translator.
You can also access their webchat helpline
Helpline and webchat opening hours:
Monday to Friday: 9am to 8pm
Weekends: 11am to 4pm
If you prefer to email use the Carers Direct online enquiries service – a Carers Direct adviser will normally respond within 24 hours of you submitting your enquiry, excluding bank holidays.
The NHS Carers Information service offers help and support to carers. The helpline advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you’re looking after. This includes information on assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off, work or education.
Carers Direct provides information, advice and support on carers’ issues but is not able to provide on-going casework. They can put you in touch with specialist national or local sources of help, including carers’ centres, social care and self-help networks.
NHS 111 – The NHS offers an urgent and emergency care, free 24 hour helpline – call 111 or access online
plus you can:
Talk to other carers on a carer online forum
Head Office telephone: 0300 772 9600
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Carers UK is a carer led national membership charity for carers offering expert help, support and information to all carers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The information and advice offered covers a range of subjects relating to caring including:
• Benefits and tax credits
• Carers employment rights
• Carers assessments and how to get support
• Services available to carers
• How to complain effectively and challenge decisions
Carers UK Advice line: 0808 808 7777
Mondays to Fridays 9am to 6pm.
Carers UK Forum is an online community of carers where you can talk with other carers, sharing experiences, ask questions or just let off steam by logging in and joining the conversation.
It includes a forum specifically about mental health which may be useful if you are caring for someone with mental health difficulties.
UPFRONT guide to caring is an online tool to help you find your way through the maze of benefits and entitlements. It is especially useful if you are new to caring, – fill in your details, spend a couple of minutes answering questions and it will guide you to the information you need.
National Adviceline: 03444 111 444
Textphone : 18001 03444 111 445
Adviceline open: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Calls cost the same as calls to landline numbers
Or you can talk to a trained adviser online. You can:
talk to them online about a money or debt problem – between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday
talk to them online about any other kind of problem – between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday
Support for parents and carers
Helpline Familyline: 0808 802 6666
Text 07537 404 282
Helpline open: Monday to Friday – 9am to 9pm
Mind was set up to make sure that no one has to face a mental health problem alone, in England and Wales, and offers help and information on its website and via its helplines
Mind infoline: 0300 123 3393
Or Text 86463
The Mind Infoline provides help on mental health issues and information
Mind legal line: 0300 466 6463
The Mind Legal line provides legal information and general advice on mental health law
Both helplines are open Monday to Friday – 9am to 6pm – closed Bank Holidays.
A charity working to prevent young suicide – for children and young people under 35, who are experiencing thoughts of suicide, and those supporting them.
If you are worried about someone you are caring for you can check out their online information
Or ring their helpline – HOPELINEUK: 0800 068 4141
Monday to Friday – 9am – 10pm
Weekends and Bank Holidays – 2pm – 10pm
Rethink provides expert, accredited advice and information to those affected by mental health problems in England and has dedicated pages for carers, families and friends within a carers’ hub section.
Helpline: 0300 5000 927
Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 4pm
This helpline is run by the Rethink mental illness advice service and offers practical help on carers rights and issues relating to mental health.
You can also contact their advice and information service online by filling out a contact form or chatting online.
The online webchat service is available Monday to Friday 10.00am to 1pm.
Samaritans offer a round the clock listening service for people when they need help. You can talk to Samaritans at any time you like, in your own way, and off the record, about whatever’s getting to you – you don’t have to be feeling suicidal.
Helpline: 116 123
Helpline is open 24 hours every day of the year and is free to call from both landlines and mobiles.
Or email: email@example.com – email response time is 24 hours
Sane is a mental health charity offering emotional support, and help and information on its website, and via a helpline.
SANEline: 0300 304 7000 ( NB- because of COVID19 this helpline in not operating at the moment – instead you need to telephone 07984 967 708. You will need to give your first name and contact number, and a senior volunteer or staff member will ring you back. Online chat and forum are both working as normal)
Or use their support forum:
Sane support forum – this provides a space where mutual support ison offer for anyone affected by mental illness.
If you are worried about someone you are supporting – they may have told you for example that they’re struggling and wondering if life is worth living – the Staying Safe site is an excellent resource.
The website offers help and advice on: keeping people safe from thoughts of harm and suicide, finding support, and discovering hope of recovery.
Support in Mind provides help and information to those affected by mental health problems in Scotland
Support in Mind Scotland has a National Information Service
Information line 0300 3231545
Open Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm
Support Line provide a confidential telephone helpline offering emotional support to any individual on any issue.
Supportline: 01708 765200 (hours of opening vary so please ring for details)
Age UK provides help and information to people in later life and their families, friends and carers
Helpline: 0800 678 1602 – open 365 days from 8am – 7pm. For advice on money, care or health.
Al-Anon offers advice for families and friends of those with alcohol problems across the UK and Ireland
Helpline: 0800 0086 811
Every day 10am to 10pm
The Alzheimer’s Society provides help and advice for those supporting people with dementia
National Dementia Connect Supportline: 0333 150 3456
Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm
Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm
Or you can join the online community ‘Talking Point’ – open 24/7 to share experiences with others.
Helpline for Scotland: 0808 808 3000 – open 24 hours
Dementia UK provide specialist support for families facing dementia – including, when needed, Admiral Nurses.
Admiral nurses are mental health nurses specialising in dementia care who give expert practical, clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia. Usually funded by a partnership of the Dementia UK charity and local services.
The Dementia UK website also has key information about dementia.
To ask for support from an Admiral nurse and/or find out about local services:
Dementia helpline: 0800 888 6678
Monday to Friday: 9am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Families Anonymous offers help and support for families and friends affected by another’s abuse of mind-altering substances, or related behavioural problems. Families Anonymous has groups, spread throughout the country, which meet regularly.
Helpline: 0207 4984 680
For older people, including advice about care, money and health.
Helpline: 0800 319 6789
Helpline open: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm
The Mix is a UK based charity that provides free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile – it also includes mental health information.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Helpline open: 4pm to 11pm, 7 days a week.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Text THEMIX to 85258
Webchat: through the website.
Open 4pm – 11pm, 7 days a week.
For advice about money and benefits including information about money problems and poor mental wellbeing.
Telephone: 0800 138 7777
Typetalk: 18001 0800 915 4622
Helpline open: Monday to Friday – 8am to 6pm
or via their Money Advice Whats App service
UK charity for autistic people (including those with Asperger syndrome) and their families. Provides information, support and services, and campaigns for a better world for autistic people.
Autism Helpline: 0808 800 4104
Monday to Friday: 10am to 12pm and 1pm -3pm
Or contact the Autism Helpline via their online enquiry form.
Local Councils have the overall responsibility to arrange an assessment of carer needs for carers in their area and may also have carers units and/or information for carers in their local areas.
You can use this online search using your postcode or nearest town to find details of your local adult social care services.
Many towns, cities and communities have services such as those listed below that offer advice, information and support including:
Citizens Advice Bureaux
Local GP Practices
Local Clinical Commissioning Groups
Local Community and Faith Centres
Local Carers Groups
Local Mental Health Community and Early Intervention Teams
Local Social Services or Social Care Department of the local authority
Birmingham Council offers a Birmingham Connect to Support website – an online information and advice guide, community directory and marketplace for citizens of Birmingham. There are specific pages for carers as part of this site.
See also Birmingham Councils webpage about managing anxiety during these difficult times.
Birmingham City Council has commissioned a range of support for carers which is available via the Birmingham Carers Hub.
The Carers Hub is run by Forward Carers – a group of not for profit organisations providing a carer support service.
Carers Hub Information and Advice Line: 0333 006 9711 (low cost call rate)
Birmingham Carers Hub is open:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays 8.45am – 5.15pm
Wednesdays 8.45am – 6.45pm
Out of hours you can leave a message or email, including your name and phone number, and someone from the team will call or email you back.
You can also stay connected with other Carers by joining and using the Making Space for Carers Group on Birmingham Carers Hub’s Facebook page
Forward Carers also offers city-wide carer information sessions and also lists local carers group events – see where and when here
Forward Carers have also produced a What IF plan for carers. It’s a simple guide which may help carers and families plan and record vital information for emergency situations which may mean that you are unable to provide care.
Homegroup provides a mental health carer support service that is commissioned by Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. The Service covers the whole of Birmingham and provides a range of support, information and advice to carers who support individuals with mental health needs. Carers can be of any age including aged between four years old and 17 years of age.
Birmingham Mental Health Carer Support Service’s Information and Referral line:
Telephone 0300 3045530
The information and referral line is open from 8am- 8pm Monday – Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)
Or you can email: MHCarerService@homegroup.org.uk
Carers Trust Solihull, part of the UK-wide Carers Trust, offers support services and outreach to adults, young people and children who care for family and friends who have a long term illness, disability or addiction in the Solihull area:
Telephone: 0121 788 1143
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinese Community Centre Birmingham provides services that meet the social, health, welfare and development needs of the Chinese community in Birmingham including support for carers of people with mental health issues
Carer support availability:
Appointment based Monday and Tuesday 10.00 – 16.00
Drop in Sessions Friday 10.00 -12.00
Urgent support call 0121 685 8510
Email – for support whilst staff currently working from home – email@example.com
0-25 year olds (or up to 35 for those experiencing a first episode of psychosis) living in Birmingham and experiencing mental health problems are now seen by the same service – Forward Thinking Birmingham. This provides support, care and treatment no matter where you live in the City, or how complex your needs. The only requirement is that you are registered with a Birmingham GP.
Referrals to the service are made via their Access Centre team. You can make a secure online referral or telephone to ask for advice and support on:
Telephone: 0300 300 0099
Access Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
The helpline is also staffed by the crisis team outside Access Centre opening hours to provide crisis support 24/7 – seven days a week.
The Forward Thinking Birmingham site also has a range of useful online resources including videos to help with relaxation, mindfulness and improving sleep.
You can access telephone support by:
Telephoning 0207 841 4470 – Open 10am to 6pm 7 days a week. You’ll need to ring, leave your name, telephone number and a good time to call back in the next 48 hours.
Or Emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pause is a city centre drop-in service in Digbeth, Birmingham – which provides advice and support from a team of therapists, youth workers and volunteers.
The Birmingham Directory is an online directory of services available in Birmingham area. Provided by Forward Thinking it lists local to Birmingham services which can be searched either by
In addition the following national websites also provide information on health conditions and treatments which might be helpful to families and friends:
(National Institute of Health and Care Excellence)
Most of the information outlined above relates to the UK countries – other countries may have a similar framework of organisations that can offer information and advice to carers. The following sites may be of interest:
The National Federation of Mental Health and Welfare party in Japan is referred to as MinnaNet which means Everyone’s Network (for those affected by mental health difficulties). This site is in Japanese.
If your organisation would like to be listed here why not contact us?