Are you a carer?
You are a carer if you provide any kind of unpaid support or care to someone who is unwell or disabled. This includes people with mental health problems. You do not have to get paid to count as a carer. You could be a carer for a friend or family member.
Even if you spend a lot of time supporting someone else, you might not consider yourself as a carer. You might feel like you do not count as a carer because:
- you think it is your responsibility to care for your relative or friend
- you are providing support other than physical and practical support
- you think the role of carer is defined by social services, and carers provided by them.
Being someone’s carer may only describe part of your relationship with them. You could be their parent, partner, sibling, child, grandchild, friend or other relative. This relationship can be just as, or more, important to you. You may also have other caring roles, for example taking care of your children.
Caring can bring many positives and rewards. However, supporting others can be mentally and physically exhausting. The time you spend caring can vary too. Some people look after someone for a short time, others find themselves caring for someone in the long term.