Support for hidden carers vital says substance misuse charity Swanswell
13 June 2012
Supporting carers of friends and family affected by alcohol or drug misuse is vital for their own health and wellbeing, says Swanswell.
Swanswell, a national charity which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is lending its voice alongside thousands of other organisations across the country to support ‘Carers Week – In sickness and in health’ (18 to 24 June 2012).
Carers Week is a national campaign recognising and celebrating the contribution that the UK’s six million carers make to the lives of millions of people. This year, focus is on how the health and wellbeing of carers is paramount.
It’s also an opportunity to identify hidden carers – those people who may not even realise how important their often unrecognised role is – and to highlight the support available to reduce the impact it has on their own life.
About ten percent of the UK population are carers and Swanswell knows that people who help friends or relatives affected by drug and/or alcohol misuse are among those unsung heroes within the community.
Caring for someone with a substance misuse problem can be a very worrying and isolating experience for many people, who don’t know where to go for help.
In Barnsley, Swanswell operates a carers support service as part of the integrated treatment system. It offers emotional and practical support for carers ranging from financial advice regarding carers allowance applications to emotional support, and help with understanding their loved one’s treatment and recovery.
Jeni Upperdine, Senior Practitioner at Swanswell’s carer support service in Barnsley, said: ‘Carers often tell us how isolating and emotionally difficult an experience it can be trying to look after a loved one affected by drug or alcohol misuse, especially if they don’t know who they can turn to.
‘Swanswell’s carer support service provides much needed help for these unsung heroes, who often sacrifice leading their own lives to make sure their friend or relative can get through their difficulties.
‘We offer advice, information and a place for carers to take time out to do the things they want to do with people in the same position as them – and it really can make a difference to their lives.’