Due to the current Covid-19 situation all carers groups and activities are on hold until further notice. Rest assured that the carers service is still operating and working remotely to provide carers support.
Mind in Bexley carers service provides practical & emotional support, information and advice to relatives and friends caring for someone over the age of eighteen and experiencing Mental health problems and/or drug and alcohol use in Bexley.
Being a carer
Being a carer for someone can be isolating and demanding and can have a profound effect on your mental, physical and emotional well-being. This can put extra pressure and strain on you, especially as you have to carry on with your own life as well. Being responsible for someone else in addition to managing your own life can be tremendously stressful. The needs of carers are often overlooked especially when the needs of those they are caring for are more obvious or immediate.
Even if you manage your responsibilities effectively you may, at some point, need support, empathy and a space to talk. You may just need extra support during difficult periods such as behavioural changes in the person that you care for due to illness.
To access our service you can either self-refer or ask a professional who knows you and your family well to contact us:
Tel: 0203 912 0030
(This voicemail is being checked regularly throughout the day) Leave a brief message including – your name, contact number and if we have permission to leave messages on your answerphone. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Or alternatively you can self-refer online:
Please note: The opening hours of the Mind in Bexley carers support service have been extended and are as follows:
- Monday 9am – 5pm
- Tuesday 9am – 8pm
- Wednesday 9am – 5pm
- Thursday 9am – 8pm
- Friday 9am – 5pm
Our current services include:
- Weekly well-being phone calls with carers (more regularly for those who experience vulnerabilities).
- Regular telephone support with carers who are feeling isolated & alone.
- Practical and emotional telephone and email support.
- If Carers would like to be in touch with other carers going through similar experiences we are linking these carers up to provide each other with telephone support.
- In conjunction with the Pier Road Project family support service we are providing a weekly digital carers support group.
- All local mutual aid and local help resources are being shared with all of our carers and we are providing additional support to access these if peoples need it.
- Supporting carers to access other specialist mental health support through our other Mind in Bexley services.
- Sending out a regular carers mailing list to share relevant information including carers resources, local updates, and links to alternative support options.
- Regular updates on specific health needs and carers advice and information related to Covid-19.
- A weekly Carers health & well-being newsletter promoting tips to look after yourself at home which includes mindfulness and relaxation exercises. (see below some of our suggestions)
- Supporting carers by liaising with partner agencies regarding the person they care for including; The community mental health teams, acute psychiatric hospital, crisis team, pier road project, police, London borough of Bexley, and other local organisations.
“an invaluable Team they have been my lifeline”
“Thank you for all you are doing to keep us all inspired.”
“Thanks again for your interventions yesterday. I really appreciate the fact that I have your support in dealing with this. You are a lifeline.”
“Thank you so much for your call today. It really helped my state of mind, believe me”
30 minutes of relaxation at home suggestions
Finding a quiet 30 minutes to yourself 2-3 times each week, or every day if you can manage it, can really help you to deal with stress and emotional distress, it can also help you to calm your mind and ease tension in your body.
It’s important that you choose what you do in your 30 minutes and that you find what feels good for you. Many relaxation exercises invite you to engage your different senses and body sensations, helping to ground you in the present moment e.g. what you can see or visualise, what you can hear and what you can feel in the body and around you. If you find this a bit difficult at first this is OK! It can take some time to get used to focussing your attention in this way.
Here is a list of things that might help you to prepare for your session:
- Allow yourself some ‘time out’ and put your mobile phone on silent for your session.
- You may also want to engage your sense of smell by using some aromatherapy oils or lighting a scented candle.
- Start with some gentle stretches releasing any tension that you might be experiencing in your body.
- Take some time to find somewhere comfortable either sitting or lying down.
- Maybe use a blanket or cushion to get really settled.
- Take a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth and with each exhale try to relax your shoulders down, letting go with ease.
- Gently close your eyes and start to notice what is going on, on the inside today. Or alternatively rest your gaze on your chosen visual practice today.
- Now its time to turn on your chosen relaxation exercise video /visual (see suggestions below) or just simply listen to some relaxing music or nature sounds around you.
- Lose yourself in this experience, and, when the exercise is over, try to bring those sensations back to the present moment.
And most importantly! Try not to not judge your practice – there will be times when your mind wanders during your session, thoughts will come and go, this is perfectly natural during relaxation and mindfulness practices.
Guided relaxation Useful Links
- 5 minutes breathing relaxation (video 1)
- 5 minute breathing relaxation (video 2) Andrew Johnson
- Relaxing piano music accompanied by an ocean sealife video (yellow brick cinema)
- 10 minute mindfulness meditation (Honest guys)
- 10 minute grounding and visualisation meditation (Honest guys)
- Relaxing Sleep music accompanied by beautiful nature video’s.
Further Useful information and resources for Carers
- https://www.carersuk.org/ – making life better for Carers.
- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19#additional-advice-for-groups-with-specific-mental-health-needs – additional advice for those with specific mental health needs, Autism spectrum disorder and learning difficulties.
- https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help – Disability rights UK prides itself on high quality information provision developed by and for disabled people.