Ellie Ames 02 November 2023

Barriers to support impacting carers’ mental health

Barriers to support impacting carers’ mental health image
Image: carersuk.org

Unpaid carers are not receiving adequate support from statutory services and their mental health is suffering as a result, Carers UK has found.

A survey by the charity found that more than three quarters (79%) of unpaid carers felt stressed or anxious, half (49%) felt depressed, and half (50%) felt lonely.

Carers described having to wait long periods for health treatment, or putting it off because of the demands of caring; being unable to rely on social care services for support with care, and struggling financially because they cannot earn a higher income.

Carers UK chief executive Helen Walker said: ‘Unpaid carers make an enormous contribution to society, but far too regularly feel unseen, undervalued and completely forgotten by services that are supposed to be there to support them.

‘Working with local authorities, the Government and NHS England must drive a programme of quicker and more targeted interventions to prevent poor mental health amongst carers.'

The charity is asking the Equality and Human Rights Commission to undertake an inquiry into unpaid carers’ ability to access health services in England.

The chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, David Fothergill, said: ‘If we are to achieve our aspirations for all unpaid carers, who are needed in increasing numbers to address the rise in those needing care, and ensure caring doesn’t impact on a carer’s health and wellbeing, we must tackle wider issues within adult social care services.’

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