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The importance of empowering relatives

In the most recent edition of Raconteur’s ‘Future of Healthcare’, Cygnet Health Care’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tony Romero, talks about the importance of increasing the levels of support for the families of individuals receiving mental health treatment and care.

The Mental Health Foundation has predicted that, due to population growth, by 2030 approximately two million more adults in the UK will have mental health problems. The article ‘Ripple effect of mental health care on families’ highlights the fact that looking after a family member with a mental health problem can have a devastating impact on the carer’s own mental wellbeing. According to the Mental Health Foundation 71 per cent of carers have poor physical or mental health.

In the article, published by The Times, Dr Romero states that a critical step-change in mental health provision is needed to provide more support for the families of individuals receiving treatment and care. He says, “Empowering relatives is a massive piece of the jigsaw that is sometimes missing, they should be part of the solution.”

Dr Romero says that whilst there is a lot of training and support available for family members of people recovering from a physical illness this is not always the case for family members of those who have a mental health condition.

“The ripple effect of mental illness can keep going if we don’t do enough to support carers.”Dr Tony Romero

The article looks at how Cygnet Health Care are already building in greater involvement by deploying parent liaison support roles and through the establishment of people’s councils across its services to allow voices and concerns to be heard and have a real influence on service delivery.

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