+44 (0)121 301 2896

Helpful Services for Carers, Families and Friends

Find out more about national, local and international services:


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);

NHS Carers Direct

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 information includes assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off and maintaining, leaving or going back to work or education.


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)

Monday to Friday     9am to 8pm

Weekends                 11am to 4pm

Online support:

Carers Direct online enquiries – ask a question about caring using the online enquiry form.  A Carers Direct adviser will normally respond within 24 hours of you submitting your enquiry, excluding bank holidays.

These are the links for other countries within the UK:

Northern Ireland



Carers Trust

The Carers Trust charity provides carers with information and support throughout the UK. Their website has information about all issues related to caring.


Head Office number  0300 772 9600

Email : info@carers.org

Carers UK

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


Carers UK Advice line   0808 808 7777

Monday and Tuesday 9am to 7pm. Calls are free to most networks you can check here to see if your call would be free.

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.

Discover For Carers


This site is for carers to develop computer skills, connect with others and find services and support


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 info line:   0300 123 3393

Text 86463

Email: info@mind.org.uk

This helpline provides help on mental health issues and information

Mind legal line: 0300 466 6463

Email: legal@mind.org.uk

This helpline provides legal information and general advice on mental health law

Both helplines are open Monday to Friday   9am to 6pm – closed Bank Holidays

Rethink Mental Illness

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 with specific advice for those supporting someone with mental health issues.


Helpline     0300 500 0927

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 them online either by filling out a contact form or chatting online.  The online webchat service is available Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm.

Samaritans (UK)

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 now free to call from both landlines and mobiles


Sane offers emotional support, and help and information on its website, and via a helpline


Helpline         0300 304 7000

Evenings  4.30pm to 10.30pm

Sane support forum

Provides a space where mutual support is given and received by anyone affected by mental illness

 Support in Mind Scotland

Support in Mind provides help and information to those affected by mental health problems in Scotland


Information line 0131 6624 359

Open Tuesday to Friday 9am to 4.30 pm

Email:  info@supportinmindscotland.org.uk.


Other organisations providing information and support for friends and families, which are appropriate to specific groups:

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:

Admiral Nursing Direct national helpline on 0800 888 6678

9am to 9pm Monday to Friday

9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays

Email: direct@dementiauk.org.

Age UK

Age UK provides help and information to people in later life


Helpline         0800 055 6112




Al-Anon offers advice for families and friends of those with alcohol problems across the UK and Ireland


Helpline         020 7403 0888

Every day      10am to 10pm

Alzheimer’s Society

The Alzheimer’s Society provides help and advice for those supporting people with dementia


Helpline         0300 222 1122

Scotland        www.alzscot.org

Helpline         0808 808 3000

Families Anonymous

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         0845 1200 660

Online forum

The National Autistic Society 

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 – Thursday 10am to 4pm

Friday 9am to 3pm


If your organisation would like to be listed here why not contact us?



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 the NHS’s Carers Direct online directory to find out details about your local council and other local services?

Many towns, cities and communities have services such as those listed below that offer advice, information and support including:

Carers Centres

Citizens Advice Bureaux

Local GP Practices

Local Clinical Commissioning Groups

Local Community and Faith Centres

Local Carers Groups

Local Libraries

Local Mental Health Community and Early Intervention Teams

Local Social Services or Social Care Department of the local authority


Support for Birmingham and Solihull area carers:

Birmingham Carers Hub

Birmingham Carers hub is run by Forward Carers a group of not for profit organisations who’ve come together to improve the lives of carers living in Birmingham.


Offers city-wide carer information sessions – see where and when here

Helpline:   0333 006 9711 (low cost call)

Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri  8.45am to 5.15pm

Weds: 8.45am-8pm

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.

Email:   info@BirminghamCarersHub.org.uk

Postal address is:
Birmingham Carers Hub
76-78 Boldmere Road
Sutton Coldfield
B73 5TJ

For carers in Birmingham the Carers Emergency Response Service (CERS) can provide limited support in the event of an emergency preventing you from offering care:

Telephone:   0121 442 2960

Birmingham Social Services


About carer assessments

Telephone: 0121 303 1234

Carers Emergency Response Service (CERS)

For carers in Birmingham the Carers Emergency Response Service (CERS) can provide limited support in the event of an emergency preventing you from offering care.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can provide support for up to 48 hours (72 hours on Bank Holidays), after which, longer term care can be arranged if necessary. Carers must be registered to receive this help.

Register with CERS:

Telephone: 0121 442 2960

Email: info@cers.org.uk

Carers Trust Solihull

Carers Trust Solihull 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:


Solihull Fire Station Annexe
620 Streetsbrook Road
B91 1QY

Telephone:  0121 788 1143

Email:    centre@solihullcarers.org

Solihull Carers Centre also offers a drop in service from 10am to 2pm on Monday’s at:

Community Advice Hub
Chelmsley Wood Library, 2nd Floor (above ASDA)
Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre
B37 5TN

Chinese Community Centre

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


Forward Thinking Birmingham (0-25) 

0-25 year olds 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.

Pause is a new city centre drop-in service in Digbeth, Birmingham – which provides advice and support both online and in person.

You can contact the access centre to make a referral or ask for advice and support on:

Telephone: 0300 300 0099

Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm

Saturday and Sunday 10.00am – 3pm

This site also has a range of useful online resources including videos to help with relaxation, mindfulness and improving sleep.

Stonham – Home Group

Provides a range of care and support services including support for carers of people with mental health issues in the Birmingham area  and support groups for carers in the Solihull area.


If your organisation/website would like to be listed here why not contact us?


In addition the following national websites also provide information on health conditions and treatments which might be helpful to families and friends:

Department of Health (England)

NHS (England)

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland

NHS Scotland

Department of Health Wales


(National Institute of Health and Social Care Excellence—England)

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Scottish Recovery Network

If your organisation/website would like to be listed here why not contact us?



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:

World Health Organisation

Eufami (European Family Movement)

World Federation for Mental Health


International Mental Health Collaboration Network

International Society for Mental Health Online


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?





Helpful services for carers
Recovery resources for professionals