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Carers welcome at special Norwich forum
31/05/2016

​People who care for someone with a mental health problem have been invited to a special event which will bring together a host of practical advice and expert insight as well as showcasing the support and benefits which are available.

The day-long Carers’ Forum has been organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in partnership with Norfolk Carers, the local carers support service.

Taking place at the Great Hospital in Norwich on Monday 6 June, it has been organised to tie in with national Carers’ Week, which runs until 12 June and is designed to celebrate the contribution which carers make while highlighting the challenges they face.

It will feature a range of speakers, including:

• Ruth Hannan, Triangle of Care lead with the Carers Trust, explaining more about the Triangle of Care, which is designed to ensure carers are fully supported and involved in decisions about care.
• London barrister Alexander Ruck Keene, of 39 Essex Chambers, who will explore capacity and confidentiality and discuss what information can and cannot be shared when someone is detained under the Mental Health Act.
• Louise Marks, Dementia and Older Carers Policy and Development Officer from the Carers Trust, talking about the best ways to support older carers.
• Personal stories from carers.

Different NSFT services will hold stalls giving more information about their work and how to access support, while voluntary groups will also be on hand. Carers will also be able to enjoy free holistic therapies, while there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

The forum comes shortly after the launch of a special YouTube channel, called ‘Mental Health Perspectives’, which brings together more than 50 videos of speakers from previous conferences looking at a wide range of mental health topics.

The channel has been set up to give everyone the chance to listen to experts talk about everything from dementia, medication, carers and caring to psychosis.

Howard Tidman, NSFT Senior Practitioner, has spearheaded both the new channel and the forum after arranging 18 previous events across Norfolk and Suffolk and reaching more than 1,300 people.

He said: “This forum is open to anyone who cares for someone who is experiencing mental ill health, and will give them help, advice and practical support which will hopefully make it easier for them to continue in their caring role.

“We are really pleased that will be joined by top speakers from across the country, all of whom are experts in their field. Everyone attending will be given the chance to ask questions, while also finding out more about the steps NSFT is taking to further improve the services it provides to carers.

“We want the day to be informal and welcoming while giving people the chance to get together, chat and share their own experiences, and look forward to welcoming as many carers as possible to The Great Hospital.

“We would encourage anyone who can’t attend to take a few minutes to look at our new YouTube channel, which brings together talks from mental health professionals and from experts by experience, such as carers and people suffering from mental illness themselves.

“It’s packed full of helpful insights and practical information, and I hope people find it useful”.

Kevin Vaughan, from Norfolk Carers, said: “Carers of people with a mental health problem can often feel isolated and reluctant to talk about their own needs for emotional and practical support, which means that they often neglect their own physical and mental wellbeing.

“This event is a great opportunity for carers to meet with others and find out about the range of support and information available from Norfolk Carers such as short breaks, individual support, grants and funding, the handbook, advice line and new information hub.”

The forum takes place between 10am and 4pm at The Great Hospital, Bishopgate, Norwich, NR1 4EL. For more information, contact Howard on 07557 290169 or by email at howard.tidman@nsft.nhs.uk

The new YouTube channel is available at www.nsft.nhs.uk/mentalhealthperspectives