Leading Mental Health technology firm Healios has been awarded a grant to run a pilot web-based scheme to educate and train carers.
Funding from the Transformation Challenge Steering Board – a partnership of Surrey County Council, Surrey’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, Surrey Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service – will enable the pioneering project.
The work will use interactive online resources and tools tailored to support carers of people with mental health problems across Surrey and North East Hampshire. Aligned with other Mental Health service development work, in particular the safe haven projects, which are designed to increase the level of support to people in crisis, the pilot scheme will devote more attention to the carers of people with psychosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and adjustment disorder, inclusive of a substance misuse complexity.
The innovative online support service will be available for 18 months.
Healios has extensive experience in successfully providing online intervention services for carers of people with mental illness and the Healios Online Carers Pilot aims to enhance carers’ quality of life and provide them with new skills to support themselves in their caring role, while also providing the best care to their loved ones.
Caring for someone with mental illness can be challenging and there is strong evidence that it can have a negative impact on the mental health of the carer. With more than 100,000 carers in Surrey alone, the pilot will ensure that carers are provided with adequate training, education, skills and support necessary to maintain their own mental health and well-being.
Carers save Surrey an estimated £1.6 billion a year, and more than £100 billion nationwide, through unpaid support. Healios’ pilot will provide high-quality NICE-approved therapeutic interventions to allow carers to maintain their own well-being and to continue caring for longer, increasing the associated savings.
Diane Woods is the Associate Director of Mental Health and Learning disabilities for the Surrey Clinical Commissioning Groups, North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG and a member of the Transformation Challenge Award Steering Group. She said: “We are very excited to be working with Healios on this innovative and unique pilot to support carers of people with mental health problems across Surrey and North East Hampshire.”
Debbie Hustings, Partnership Manager for Carers Guildford and Waverley, East Surrey and Surrey Downs CCG, said, “The intention is to develop a bespoke carers support service that addresses the particular needs of mental health carers. Through an offer of psycho-education and skills training it is anticipated that a more confident, supported and skilled carer will feel more capable and confident in their caring role”.