+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 Helpline

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

You can also access their webchat helpline or make an email enquiry on Carers Direct online enquiries –  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.

There is also an online guide to support and benefits for carers and to carers assessments

NHS 111 – The NHS offers an urgent and emergency care, free 24 hour helpline  – call 111

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. 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

Monday and Tuesday 10am to 4pm. 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.

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.


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


A charity working to prevent young suicide – for young people under 35 and those supporting them.

If you are worried about someone you are caring for you can check out their online information

Ring their HOPEline  0800 068 4141

Monday to Friday          10am – 10pm

Saturday and Sunday   2pm – 10pm

Bank Holidays                 2pm – 5pm

Text   07786 209 697

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

Or email: jo@samaritans.org


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

Staying Safe

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.

This website also includes specific information for carers and practical help on making a Safety Plan.

Support in Mind Scotland

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


Information line 0131 662 4359

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:

Age UK

Age UK provides help and information to people in later life


Helpline         0800 055 6112  open 365 days from 8am – 7pm.




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

Email: helpline@al-anonuk.org.uk

Alzheimer’s Society

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


National Demential Helpline         0300 222 1122

Scotland        www.alzscot.org

Helpline         0808 808 3000

Dementia UK

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 national helpline on 0800 888 6678

9am to 9pm Monday to Friday

9am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays

Email: helpline@dementiauk.org.

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 online directory to find out details about your local council.

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 City Council

Contact details:

Tel: 0121 303 1234

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.


Carers Hub Information and Advice Line:   0333 006 9711 (low cost call)

Birmingham Carers Hub open:

Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri  8.45am to 5.00pm

Weds: 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.

Email:   info@BirminghamCarersHub.org.uk

Forward Carers also offers city-wide carer information sessions – see where and when here

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

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.

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

Telephone: 0300 300 0099

Access Centre opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Helpline is staffed by the crisis team outside Access Centre opening hours to provide crisis support 24/7 seven days a week.

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


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 and Social Care

NHS (England)

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland

NHS Scotland

Department of Health Wales


(National Institute of Health and Care Excellence)

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 Organization

Eufami (European Family Movement)

World Federation for Mental Health

ISPS – The international society for psychological and social approaches to psychosis

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