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Carers forum looks at link between loneliness and mental health
24/03/2017

​Later this month, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), in partnership with Feedback Health, will host a carers event looking at the association between loneliness and mental health.

The loneliness and mental health carers forum will be held on Friday, 31 March at the King’s Centre, in Great Yarmouth from 10am until 4pm and will offer advice and information to those who care for a friend or family member.

Attendees will gain information about different types of mental illness from psychiatrists, psychologists and those with lived experience. Guest speaker Louise Marks from the Carers Trust will also be on hand to discuss her research into loneliness and caring.

The event will also feature stalls from local organisations, charities and support groups who will be on hand to explain the services they provide and how to access them.

Howard Tidman, Senior Practitioner at NSFT who organised the event, said: “Loneliness and mental health are quite strongly linked. Having mental health difficulties increases your chance of feeling lonely, and feeling lonely can, in turn, have an adverse impact on your mental health.

“Caring for someone who is very ill can often feel physically and mentally isolating and can impact our self-esteem, sleep and eating habits. The situation can be exacerbated by the stigma around mental illness, resulting in people feeling cut off from society. We need to try and be mindful to intervene early and help each other to look after our own wellbeing.

“One of the biggest challenges facing mental health professionals is helping people to rebuild their social life and engage in activities. We envisage many of the talks will be inspirational and some quite moving.”

The main aim of the event is to support carers in the work they do by teaching them holistic therapies to empower them to overcome loneliness. The day will be informal and welcoming while giving people the chance to share their own experiences.

The event is open to everyone and will take place at the Kings Centre on 30 Queen Anne’s road, NR31 0LE. It is free to attend, with no booking necessary.

For more information please contact Howard Tidman on howard.tidman@nsft.nhs.uk.