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Caring for Carers

“Caring for Carers” is an innovative training programme developed by the Meriden Programme which has been commissioned by a range of organisations in both the UK and Canada since its conception in 2005. The programme is designed to bring together small teams of staff and carers in order that they can develop their skills in training and supervising others in a highly collaborative, practical way. On completion of the 3-day training it is expected that participants will go on to deliver locally tailored carer support and education packages that specifically meet the needs of their local communities or service areas. Participants have the opportunity to:

  • Familiarise themselves with the content of “Caring for Carers” workbook and the 11-week “Caring for Carers” programme
  • Develop skills and confidence in the planning, organisation and delivery of courses, delivery of presentations and facilitation of group learning
  • Consider how the programme may need to be adapted to meet the needs of specific  carer groups and communities

A Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) programme had been produced, and also a substance misuse adaptation, both of which received excellent feedback and evaluation.


The Caring for Carers programme

The aim of the 3-day trainers course is to prepare participants, both carers and professionals, to deliver an eleven-week programme covering information-sharing, coping strategies and support to carers of people experiencing mental health difficulties.  This is achieved through experiential learning, and the provision of an extensive range of written materials. A detailed trainers manual has been prepared with eleven modules covering the following topics:

  • Introduction – the experience of mental health problems in a family
  • Experiences of caring
  • Information sharing – assessment and treatments
  • Information on local mental health services
  • Communication in families
  • Communicating with professionals
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with crisis and relapse management
  • Recovery and hope
  • Taking care of your own health


Caring for Carers mirrors many of the principles and strategies of BFT, but addresses these issues within a carers group rather than a family context. Although the service user is not usually present at the carers group, it is hoped that the information and techniques will be taken home, discussed and used in situ.

In addition to the Caring for Carers programme, Meriden has also produced a “Caring for Yourself” manual in collaboration with Rethink Mental Illness. Again, this manual uses the same principles but is designed as a self-help manual or to be used alongside attendance at a local “Caring for Carers” group.


Additional Resources:


For more information on our “Caring for Carers” programme, please see our Training & Consultancy section.

For dates of forthcoming training see Events.