HAVING the right information at the right time can make a huge difference when you are looking after someone. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Carers rights movement.

As an organisation which was initially established in the 1970s following an article written in The Times about the dilemmas faced by carers and families of people diagnosed with schizophrenia, Support in Mind Scotland continues to be passionate about empowering mental health Carers by ensuring they are aware of their rights and supporting them to exercise them.

Feedback from Carers registered with our Tayside services highlighted that they felt an information session would be beneficial due to the number of changes occurring including amendments to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, and the introduction of the Carers Bill. They also welcomed the opportunity for a regional event to network with and meet Carers from other areas.

Acting on this feedback we worked with partners Penumbra to mark Carers Rights Day by facilitating a half day programme at the Queen's Hotel in Dundee with speakers Frances Simpson, CEO - Support in Mind Scotland; Alexis Chapelle, Services Manager and Chair of the Carers Strategy Partnership; Social Work  Services- Dundee City Council;, and Iain Cairns from the Mental Welfare Commission. The speakers highlighted to Carers how these changes will affect them and those who they support, to promote local sources of guidance and support available and how to access them.

Each year Carers Rights Day is marked across the UK bringing Carer Support organisations together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to. This is especially important as;

Every year, more than 2 million people take on a new caring role. Many struggle to navigate the maze of services and entitlements, and miss out on financial and practical support as a result. And it’s not just people who are new to caring – even those who have been caring for years sometimes aren’t aware of all their entitlements.

Caring can bring all kinds of challenges. We want every carer to know where to turn for advice, information and support, whether in their local community or online.

Carers Rights Day raises awareness of the needs of carers with the public, decision makers and professionals, helping us realise our vision of a society that respects, values and supports carers.

We were delighted that this partnership event was well attended and representative across the region, with feedback highlighting the benefit of sharing current information on Carers Rights and sources of support and information. 

A commitment was made on the day to host further information sessions in locality areas across Tayside in 2016, in order to reach as any Carers as possible.

Also at our Carers Rights Day Event, we held a very successful bring & buy sale for the 1 IN 100 fundraising and awareness campaign, which included home baking, handmade crafting and a  variety of other items.  We raised £273.86 and would like to extend a huge thanks to all those in attendance on the day for their generous  contributions. 

1 in 100 people in Scotland will experience schizophrenia at some point in their lives.  As part of Support in Mind Scotland’s 1 IN 100 awareness raising campaign, our 100 events in 100 days began on World Mental Health Day 10 October 2015.