The Care Collective spoke with Andrea O’Brien from RAMH Causeway Integrated Services to find out a bit more about the work the service does to support local carers in East Renfrewshire.
Can you tell me a bit about RAMH Causeway Integrated Services, and how you play your part in supporting local carers?
RAMH stands for Recovery Across Mental health. We provide a range of services and interventions, ranging from 1to1 counselling to social support groups
Many people who are in recovery from mental ill health rely on the support of a loved one at home. We ensure that those in recovery and their carers are empowered and supported through their recovery process. People who are new to caring for someone often find it difficult to balance their own self-care needs with their caring responsibilities. Carers naturally give out, but it’s also important to show kindness to yourself.
We have a peer support group who meet in Barrhead on a Monday evening from 6 until 7. The group is for people who care for a loved one who is struggling with their mental health and well-being. The group is relaxed and informal and offers emotional support as well as an opportunity to exchange information. Speakers also attend from time to time.
Though chatting with others, people can support one another in the group to identify their personal boundaries and how to build positive coping strategies into their lives, to help maintain their own mental health and well-being.
Some of our more experienced carers also meet at Sandlers Cottage in Eastwood on the last Thursday of each month. As a group they advocate on behalf of other carers in the area and in shaping and directing the ways in which carers are supported locally.
What kind of difference do you think this makes to people?
People are able to care better if they feel better. The groups give people a safe space to chat about the realities of day to day life. Many of us wouldn’t admit that they feel overwhelmed, or even resentful, but in our groups you don’t necessarily have to spell it out. Caring for someone can be very isolating, but together we figure out better coping strategies and learn how to successfully implement them
Would you like to highlight another person, service or organisation in East Ren that makes East Ren more Carer friendly?
Christine from the carers centre is very friendly and very informative. The Carers' Centre provide a wide selection of informative courses.
For example, a course about long term conditions is relevant to all sorts of carers, not just those who are supporting someone with mental ill health. We tell people about their services and vice versa.
What are the little things that you think people could do to be more ‘carer friendly’?
People want to be heard. They want to be listened to and shown a bit of compassion. The best thing people can do is listen. Listen and find out what is involved in being a carer.
The next Carers Group meets this coming Monday 6-7 in Barrhead. Call Andrea on 0141 881 8811 or email her Andrea.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.