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#Timetotalk day 2022

Sarah and Matthew* share how talking and peer to peer support has been so important to them while navigating their way through the mental health system.

This Time to Talk’ day, Sarah and Matthew, share with us their experience of being carers for their daughter, who has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Sarah and Matthew also have caring responsibilities for their grandson and make sure that Sarah’s Mum is cared for too.

Sarah and Matthew’s daughter was diagnosed with BPD several years ago.  

Quote from the couple “We had no experience of mental health at all up until that point. There was no support in place for carers and we felt very much on our own”

As Sarah and Matthew were unable to access any support to help them, they joined a local carer’s support group. After a few years the funding for the group ceased so the couple took on the group themselves. It’s now been running for 4 years and they have managed to secure some funding for the group.

Quote from the couple “It’s really important to talk things through with others in a similar situation. Everyone feels they gain so much from the group”

As well as helping to run the support group the couple are a member of the Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) and Focus (Forum of Carers and people who Use our Services). Focus is the voice for carers and people who use mental health, learning disability, older people, and drug and alcohol services in Surrey and North East Hampshire, provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Sarah and Matthew share information between the carer’s support group and the IMHN and Focus to help improve the mental health services in the local area.

When asked to share any advice for other carers in a similar situation, finding out as much information about the support and services available is on their list.  

The couple also talked about how they have helped their daughter

“It’s a long journey, not to judge and be loving and supportive”

Sarah and Matthew, are a lovely couple that are passionate about improving local mental health services and supporting other carers. Thank you, Sarah and Matthew, for everything you do!

*Names have been changed

You can have your say on local mental health services here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/sabpsuc

For more information and support the following organisations may be able to help:

Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/

Mind Woking: https://www.wokingmind.org.uk/

Rethink Mental Illness: https://www.rethink.org/

Rethink Support Group Woking: https://www.rethink.org/help-in-your-area/support-groups/rethink-woking-mental-health-carers-group/

Mary Frances Trust: https://www.maryfrancestrust.org.uk/

Action for Carers: https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/

Recovery College – they run courses for carers: https://www.recoverycollegeonline.co.uk/

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