Often people who are mentally ill either don’t realise that they are getting ill or don’t want people to know about it – so they try their best to manage. This can put an enormous strain on the other members of the family. You can always go to your GP, but s/he may not be able to do anything against the wishes of your relative, unless they are becoming a danger to you and others. If this is the case don’t hesitate to ask for help.

You can also ask Social Services to help in either case. People worry that involving Social Services will mean that they are taken away from their parents, but this is the last thing Social Workers want to do. They will want to help you to manage in your own home, with the support of other members of your family.

You may feel very stressed out by your relative’s illness and the behaviour it produces. School nurses or school counsellors can be very helpful in talking all this through with you and being there if you need to get things off your chest.

If at any time you feel really frightened by your relative’s behaviour and you are unable to contact a doctor or a social worker you should dial 999. You may feel bad about this but it could be the only way to get the help your relative needs.

Special help:

It is possible that there may be a Kidstime group in your area, although at the moment there are only a few available in:

London: Camden and Islington, Westminster, and Hackney

North West UK: The Wirral, Birkenhead

West Country: Plymouth Excellence Cluster expected in September

See the page on Kidstime Workshops for details.

Others will follow soon

However joining a young carere’s group is always helpful, and usually lots of fun as well. You can find a map with all the young carer’s groups in the United Kingdom at this link: