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Special event to help care for carers

A special event which will bring together a host of help, support, practical advice and expert insight for carers and people experiencing mental ill health takes place later this month.

The day-long Carers’ Forum has been organised by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) in partnership with the Carers Agency Partnership (Norfolk Carers Support) and Headucate, and will feature talks from health professionals, carers and service users.

The event will be opened by Norman Lamb MP, former Minister of State for Care and Support. During the day speakers will discuss a wide range of topics, with Dr Jamie Durrance talking about self-harm, NSFT Medical Director Bohdan Solomka discussing bipolar and Professor Steve Bazire MBE exploring ways to get the best from your medication. Carers and service users will also be on hand to tell their stories, while the importance of looking after carer wellbeing will also be on the agenda.

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. In addition, carers will be able to enjoy free holistic therapies and a nail bar, while there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Howard Tidman, who works for NSFT’s crisis team, has organised the event after arranging several successful events previously. He said: “We hope that as many carers, professionals and service users as possible will come to this special event, which is designed to give people help, support and practical advice.

“We are delighted that we will be joined by such a range of interesting speakers, who will be able to provide an expert insight into various aspects of mental illness.

“We want the day to be informal and welcoming while giving people the chance to get together, chat and share their own experiences.

“All of the previous events we’ve arranged have been really well attended and attracted great feedback from the people who came along, and we hope to repeat that success this time around.”

Although the day has been arranged primarily for carers, anyone with an interest in mental health is welcome to attend, including health professionals, students and service users.

Kevin Vaughan, Carers Agency Partnership Manager, said: “Anyone looking after someone else, a family member or friend, with mental ill health may often feel stressed and worried themselves. This can, in time, have an impact on their own mental health and well-being, but carers don’t realise that they have the legal right to ask for support for themselves from health and social care services.

“This event gives carers an opportunity to focus on their own needs, to find out about the range of local information, practical and emotional support available and to share experiences with others.”

The forum takes place on Friday, 30 October, from 10am to 5pm at the City Academy, Bluebell Road, Norwich, and is open to everyone.