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What carers, families and friends can do to help themselves?

When your relative or friend is unwell, it’s really hard to think of your own needs – but looking after yourself is vital – there is a real risk that, if you don’t, you may eventually become physically or emotionally unwell yourself.

“If you have travelled on a plane you’ll be familiar with the safety advice – that if there’s an emergency, and the oxygen masks are activated, you need to put yours on first before helping anyone you are caring for – the risk being if you don’t put yourself first, you may lose consciousness before you can help others. It really is just as crucial for us carers to put our health first.

As a parent of two sons with psychosis, I know all too well that always putting your own needs at the bottom of your personal pile of demands and responsibilities can result in poor health. 

I felt that my own life could happen later – once my sons were both well.  It was only when I became seriously depressed myself that I realised that I needed to stay well too.  At this stage I took up all the help and support I could get and started on my own personal journey of Recovery.”

Carer – West Midlands

So how can you help yourself?

Make it a priority to put aside time to think about what you need.

A good starting point to support your own health and wellbeing whilst caring would be to download the Meriden Family Programme’s App ‘MyCare’ . The ‘Mycare’ app helps carers and family members take good care of themselves.

If you don’t have a phone or tablet why not view the content on the MyCare app website?

This site also has a range of resources and tools that you can use to help look after yourself, as well as inspirational caregiver narratives.  Have a browse to find out which tools and resources are the most useful for you.

Find out more about:

Caring for yourself 
Tools for Recovery
Triangle of Care
Recovery Experiences 
Psycho-education and carer education


Helpful services for carers
Recovery resources for professionals