Sharon James.jpg (2.71 MB)

My name is Sharron James and I work for Derbyshire Carers Association as a Locality Carer Support Worker for the Amber Valley and Derbyshire Dales area.  My work is mainly focused around mental health, as that is my background of 25 years or more.  I also care for a relative who struggles with their own mental health.

Being a Carer for someone with mental health needs can be challenging and my relationship with my relative has changed because of this. They have had difficulties with their mental health since I was a child, and as a result, have been in and out of mental health hospitals at all stages of my life. This is something I have been accustomed to, and have had to cope with, sometimes without the presence of that person in my life.

Their condition is such that they do not cope without support, and it is easier for them to go into hospital, rather than manage everyday situations. It is very difficult to substantiate if that person is physically unwell or mentally unwell, as they both often feed into one another. At one stage a few years ago, my relative was calling the ambulance services out nearly every day. It happened so frequently that they had my number to phone me. They would then take my relative to hospital, run some tests and send them home as there was nothing physically wrong with them. This went on for several years and my life revolved around hospitals, GP appointments, outpatient departments and psychiatrists.

Now my relative has become elderly and frail and has many physical ailments and conditions which affect their mental health quite severely. I have had to cut down on my working hours to take them to the various appointments and to care for that person as they become frailer and their mental health more unstable.

I have to be very patient with them, but sometimes it is very difficult as it has such an impact on my life, my work, and my wellbeing.

However, there are many organisations that are available to help support carers and there is a specific Mental Health Carers Support group in Ripley that is based at the Croft.  Terry Earl is the person to contact – Mobile Telephone Number: 07721 006100

Also, below is 24-hour support if needed -

Mental Health Support Line

A new mental health support line run by the NHS and operating seven days a week between the hours of 9am and midnight (24/7 coming soon) has been set up to provide access to support for people of all ages in Derby and Derbyshire.

 

Please call 0800 028 0077 for free where mental health professionals will be on hand to help.

 

  • Run by experienced mental health professionals who are equipped to provide mental health support and advice.
  • Support for people experiencing immediate distress or to their families or carers or partners to support any individuals in mental distress.

 

For more information, please visit:

https://derbyandderbyshireemotionalhealthandwellbeing.uk/

 

For more information, please visit:

https://www.derbyshirehealthcareft.nhs.uk/support-line

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