Emotional support for carers

Looking after your wellbeing as a carer, including taking a break from caring

Looking after someone can have an impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing. This can affect your day-to-day life as well as your ability to provide the best care for your loved one. It is important that you take care of your own needs as well as the needs of the person you are caring for.

To learn more about looking after your own wellbeing, and for an opportunity to meet other carers, register for the virtual wellbeing programme with Carers First. Their website also offers a range of help and advice articles about your wellbeing.

Help with your mental health

For general information and support, see our mental health advice. This includes emergency or crisis help.

Carers UK offers specific advice on:

121 support

It can be helpful to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your problems. However this is not always possible or enough. Sometimes it can be better or easier to talk to someone who doesn't know you.

You can book a free 30 minute phone or video call with Mobilise. Their support team all have experience caring for others as well as training in coaching techniques. They give you the opportunity to talk to someone who understands as well as someone who can help.

If you feel you need a bit more support, you could consider counselling. A professional counsellor can listen, advise and offer support. For free counselling you can talk to your GP about a referral through the NHS or contact Action for Family Carers about their counselling offer.

Meet other carers

You may not need or want any formal support, but it can still be helpful to talk to others who are in similar situations to you. The Essex Wellbeing Service can help you to find support groups in your local area.

Alternatively, you can chat with other carers across the UK from the comfort of your own home with Mobilise's 'virtual cuppa'. They host daily chats and anyone is welcome. All you need is an internet connection, speaker and microphone. Most smart phones or laptops will work.

If you are caring for a family member with a learning disability, you can join the Essex Carers Network. They send out regular newsletters and arrange local events for their members.

Taking time for yourself

Taking a break from your caring role is a good way to make sure you are looking after your own wellbeing. This could be for a few hours or a few days. The NHS social care and support guide has information and advice on respite care and the value of breaks for carers.

Options for respite care and breaks can be considered as part of a carers assessment, although you may still need to contribute to the cost of this.

Carers UK has directories of respite care providers, and holiday companies which specialise in breaks for carers, or care holidays.

Time 4 You offers one-off grants of up to £100 (or higher if eligible) to enable carers to do something aligned to their individual interests, hobbies and aspirations.