Caring for someone with a Mental Health Condition

When you care for someone with a mental illness you may find it hard to share with others about your caring role, you may feel alone. You may feel your life is very different and that others are unable to understand the challenges you face.

It is also important to remember to look after your own mental health, caring for others can mean you are always thinking about the things you need to do for them, you may have difficulty switching off or sleeping and your appetite may change. It can help to talk things through with someone. Our Carer Support Workers can offer a listening ear and may be able to provide you with useful information.

Having access to information can help you to manage your caring role. This might be for example information about the illness of the person you care for, how their illness might affect them, the treatment they are receiving, or your rights as a Carer. We can support you to source this information.

Information about medical treatment

The person I am caring for wants me to know about their treatment
Make sure that the person you care for has told any medical professionals, social workers and support staff that they are happy for you to have access to your medical information. You could ask for a note to be put on any records confirming that you have permission to see them.

The person I am caring for is too unwell to make decisions, or may be too unwell to make them in the future
If you are concerned someone may not have the mental capacity to make a decision about their treatment, read Mind’s legal briefing on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to find out what they can do in advance to make their wishes known and what your rights are to make decisions on their behalf.

The person I am caring for does not want me to know about their treatment
If the person you are caring for does not consent to you receiving information about their treatment, you may still be able to receive general information. For example, a doctor may give you information about a health problem, but not specific details of the treatment that is being offered.

It’s important that you are given the information you need to provide care safely and effectively. If you are concerned that you or the person you care for will be put at risk because you do not have essential information, you should raise this concern with any medical staff involved. They will then decide whether you should be given information without the agreement of the person you are caring for. (

Information – we can provide information about support and services available and Carers’ entitlements and rights.

Support – we offer a listening ear, support groups, activities and training for Carers.

Carer’s Needs Assessment – we carry out Carer’s Needs Assessments on behalf of the local authority.

Kent Carer’s Emergency Card – we administer this free service to provide peace of mind when you are away from the person you care for.

Health and Wellbeing – we offer health and wellbeing sessions to Carers and work with GP’s to identify and support Carers’ own health and wellbeing.

Assistance with Welfare Benefits – you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance and the person you care for may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment.

  • Mind is a UK Mental Health charity working with people with mental health issues and their families and Carers. In addition to helping us understand the types of mental health problems, mind offers advice to us as carers cope with, loneliness,self esteem, sleep problems and stress
  • Rethink Mental Illness is a UK Mental Health charity working with people with mental health issues and their families and Carers.

    Since 1972 Rethink Mental Illness have been challenging attitudes and changing lives, helping people living with conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, personality disorders and more to recover a better quality of life.
    Rethink Mental Illness

  • Live It Well is a source of information, help and guidance and is designed to promote better wellbeing and mental health in Kent and Medway for all and to help people connect with their local communities.
    Live It Well
  • Carers Trust is a UK charity that provides carers with information and advice which includes information and advice on mental health conditions.
    Carers Trust
  • Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT) KMPT provide a number of different mental health services to people aged over 14 living in Kent and Medway. Their services are more specialised than services provided by your GP. Most of their mental health services are more provided through:
    Kent and Medway Partnership Trust (KMPT
caring for mental illness

Every year, one in four of us experience a mental health problem.

Schizophrenia is one of the most common serious mental health conditions. About 1 in 100 people will experience schizophrenia in their lifetime, with many continuing to lead normal lives.

One in ten of us will experience depression during our lifetime.

Contact us

If you are caring for someone with a Mental Illness we can provide you with support, information and access to services

If you would like more information or support from us, please contact us by e-mail, or telephone on 01304 364637.
Contact us