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Turning the spotlight on complex needs

The dangers of legal highs and how people can make sense of addiction will be explored during a special forum designed to help anyone caring for a patient with mental health or substance abuse problems.

The complex needs carers forum has been organised by Howard Tidman, who works for Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) crisis team, in partnership with Norfolk Carers Support and the Carers Agency Partnership.

Taking place on Wednesday 13 January, 10am-5.30pm, at the Bob Champion Centre at the University of East Anglia, it will explore key issues faced by carers while raising awareness of the specialist help and support which is available.

The day has been specifically designed for anyone who cares for someone with a substance misuse or mental health problem, and will feature talks from clinicians, service providers and carers, who will use their own experiences to offer insight and advice.

Professor David Nutt, who is psychiatrist who specialises in addiction, anxiety and sleep, as well as research into drugs which affect the brain, will speak about making sense of addiction and its treatment, while Tony Agostino will explore issues around legal highs.

Various organisations and charities will also hold stalls at the event to explain more about the services and support available locally.

Howard, who has organised more than 20 similar events in the past, said: “We are delighted to have attracted such a great range of high calibre speakers to our latest event, which we hope will be our best yet.

“Carers play a valuable, yet challenging role, and I believe it is important to offer them as much help and support as we can.

“This special event will give people the chance to listen to expert advice which may help them overcome some of the challenges which caring for someone with complex needs brings.

“It has been specially designed for carers and will be informal and welcoming so that people can take the opportunity to get together, have a chat over a cup of tea and learn from each other’s experiences.

“Our previous forums have been really well attended, with more than 80 people travelling to the last event in Norwich from as far afield as King’s Lynn and Bury St Edmunds. I hope we have a similar response this time and as many people as possible take the opportunity to come along and gain some valuable advice, as well as finding out more about the support which is available locally.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which takes place between 10am and 5.30pm. For more information, please contact Howard on 07557 290169.