+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). 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.

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

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

Carers Trust


plus you can:

find out about local services for carers

Talk to other carers on a carer online forum

Head Office telephone: 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

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.

Carers UK is also organising online meet ups – including ‘care for a cuppa?’ with carers – as well as weekly online share and learn sessions.

Citizens Advice

Adviceline England: 0800 144 8848

Relay UK –   If you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say using an app or a textphone : 18001 0800 144 8884

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:

Family Action

Support for parents and carers

Helpline Familyline: 0808 802 6666

Text 07537 404 282

Helpline open: Monday to Friday – 9am to 9pm

Email: familyline@family-action.org.uk


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

Or you can chat online during helpline opening hours

Email: info@mind.org.uk

The Mind Infoline provides help on mental health issues and information

Mind legal line: 0300 466 6463

Email: legal@mind.org.uk

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.


Mobilise is an organisation providing support for carers. Their website includes a carers toolkit with information about essentials such as the Carers Allowance, Carer Assessments, and emergency planning for carers. They also offer a pre-booked, free, one-to-one call with a carers coach 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.


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

HOPELINEUK open 9am – midnight – every day of the year

Text   07860039967

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 within a carers’ hub section.


Adviceline: 0808 801 0525

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.

Email: advice@rethink.org

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.

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 free to call from both landlines and mobiles.

Or email: jo@samaritans.org  – 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.

Staying Safe – from suicidal thoughts

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


Support in Mind Scotland has a National Information Service

Information line 0300 3231545

or chat online on the website during opening hours

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm

Email: info@supportinmindscotland.org.uk

Support Line

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)

E-mail: info@supportline.org.uk

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

accessing NHS services online

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 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

Email: helpline@al-anonuk.org.uk

Alzheimer’s Society

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


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.

Scotland        www.alzscot.org

Helpline for Scotland: 0808 808 3000 – open 24 hours

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 helpline: 0800 888 6678

Monday to Friday: 9am to 9pm

Saturday and Sunday: 9am to 5pm

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: 0207 4984 680

Online forum

Independent Age

For older people, including advice about care, money and health.

Helpline: 0800 319 6789

Helpline open: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm

Email: advice@independentage.org

The Mix 

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: 3pm to midnight, 7 days a week.

Crisis text message service:

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Text THEMIX to 85258

Webchat: through the website.

Open 3pm – midnight, 7 days a week.

The Money Advice Service

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

During the helpline’s opening hours you can also ask for help and advice via webchat

or via their Money Advice Whats App service

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 to Friday: 10am to 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:

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

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 mental health 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.


Birmingham Carers Hub services – Coronavirus Advice for Carers

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 – 5pm

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

The Carers Hub also offers outreach services in several areas of Birmingham

Email:   info@birminghamcarershub.org.uk

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.

Birmingham Mental Health Carer Support Service

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 carers can contact the information and referral line directly to talk to someone from the carer support service, provided by Home Group, and/or to make a self referral for additional support. The support on offer to carers is based on individual needs but may include, for example, helping to plan strategies of support and possible respite, or time out, and making links with other appropriate helpful agencies.

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

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

You can also use their online contact form

Or 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


Email – for support whilst staff currently working from home – service@chinesebirmingham.org.uk

Forward Thinking Birmingham (0-25) 

Temporary arrangments during COVID-19 pandemic

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.

Pause Drop-in Service – Birmingham

Pause is currently offering support by telephone appointments only

You can access telephone support by:

Telephoning 0207 841 4470 – Open  Monday – Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 5pm.  You’ll need to ring, leave your name, telephone number and a good time to call back in the next 48 hours.

Or Emailing: askbeam@childrenssociety.org.uk

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.

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) and NHS Improvement

NHS Scotland

Department of Health Wales


(National Institute of Health and Care Excellence)

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Scottish Recovery Network


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?





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