Carer Peer Support Work by Emma Bastin

Hi, my name is Emma I’m the Carer Peer Support Worker for County South Crisis Team based in Highbury Hospital, Bulwell, Nottingham. My role is to support the family members of people currently using the Crisis Team as it can be a stressful and anxious time.

I provide a confidential space for carers to talk about how they feel. I can offer information about mental health services as well as sharing experiences about what I, myself found helpful when caring. I bring carers voices to the Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT’s) who meet to discuss and agree treatment for individual patients. I help carers provide feedback to the Trust. As well as this, I’ve received Family Interventions Training so it can help to open up a dialogue between family members and they can work through their struggles and challenges together. I also refer and signpost carers to relevant services for longer term support.

Being able to give carers time to talk about their experiences and to listen to their thoughts and for them to know their feelings have been heard is both vital for carers wellbeing and crucial for the team to receive a full picture of how the patient (loved one) is from the carers perspective.

Being a carer peer is important to me as being a carer can be a very lonely and sometimes frustrating experience. It’s important carers are given the time to know they are not alone and have time to focus on themselves and have a moment to look after their own wellbeing.

I currently care for someone with mental health difficulties and was previously a young carer for someone with mental and physical difficulties. This has shown me the wide array of emotions involved in caring and the value of having a confidential person to speak to.

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