I have been a carer for my partner, Sue, since 1999 when she was diagnosed with depression initially and later on schizoaffective disorder. However, looking back, I believe she was having mental health issues for many years before any diagnosis.
I too have had periods of depression, which may have been brought on by caring for her.
Carer issues are important to me, as without carers both the NHS and Social Services would not be able to cope with the demand if we were not there to support our loved ones. Yet, I don’t feel that carer needs are considered or included enough when a treatment plan is agreed, as it is us who has to support our loved ones through it.
In 2015 I started a carer education and support group, with the help of other carers and the backing of the national charity Rethink Mental Illness. I have also been involved in a number of other groups which take up my time.
When not involved in these groups I listen to music or can be found walking across hills geocaching (searching for hidden containers using satellite technology).