Caring Connections is our new national service for carers (family/friends) of people being treated within forensic mental health services throughout Scotland.

Forensic Mental Health Carers are people of any age who provide unpaid support for a relative or friend who is within forensic mental health services, including people in low, medium and high security hospitals throughout Scotland as well as in community settings with the support of Forensic Community Mental Health Teams,

The three medium secure units are in Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow, and the high secure unit is the State Hospital at Carstairs.  There are other low secure units throughout Scotland.

The service is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Our National Forensic Carer co-ordinator Lorraine Keith explained: "We will provide support and appropriate information to carers throughout the key stages of their journey through the Forensic Mental Health Services. 

"By doing this the carer may feel better supported and informed of their own rights and more able to support their relative/friend who is receiving care and treatment.  Supporting families and friends in this way may go some way to maintaining or rebuilding relationships.

"Our recent research, ‘Exploring Family Carer Involvement in Forensic Mental Health Services’ (available by clicking here) found that forensic carers need support right from the first admission of their relative/friend to forensic services through to eventual discharge in some cases.

"Forensic carers are often not seen as carers by others – even statutory providers – therefore increasing their sense of isolation and emotional distress not to mention the stigma that is often associated with forensic services."

Lorraine is keen to hear from anyone who may be interested in this service, whether a carer or service provider.

Please contact Lorraine Keith on 07951066234 or [email protected] for more information or to let me have your thoughts on this service.


The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations with the ideas and ability to achieve positive change. 

 The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK.  We make grants of £30 - £35 million annually towards a wide range of work within the arts, education and learning, the environment and social change. We also operate a £26 million Finance Fund which invests in organisations that aim to deliver both a financial return and a social benefit.