Friday, 27 November 2015

We are all in it together

This week's guest post is from Philip Moody, who is an Adult Carer Outreach Worker and Carers' Advocate in North Powys for Powys Carers Service.

I was visiting the PAVO offices at Plas Dolerw just to get my post and Jackie Newey, Project Officer PAVO's Powys Mental Health Information Service, waylaid me and asked me if I would write this blog post. Seriously Jackie, thanks for asking me. So here is some information about Powys Carers Services and a few rambled thoughts.

I have worked with Powys Carers Service for 13 years as an Outreach Worker/Advocate in the Montgomeryshire area and support adult carers. I work from home (just outside Newtown) and we have an office in Llandrindod Wells. As a service we endeavour to support unpaid carers, adults, young adults and children alike.

We try to empower these carers and give them support, information, one to one support, advocacy and a lot more. We do believe it is important that everyone’s voice is heard and “carers” voices should be heard as well. Their views should not be lost because we live in a noisy world.

So why did I chose the title for this blog “We are all in it together”? It sounds a bit like a socialist catch phrase. I have had lots of different jobs including Baptist Minister and Trade Union rep! However the reason for the phrase - “We are all in it together” is because of what I experience day in, day out.

I support people who care for folks who may have poor mental health. I also support carers who have mental health issues themselves and care for someone who is physically ill. I work alongside other professionals who struggle sometimes with their own poor mental health and at stressful times in my life have battled with a few “dark days” myself. (Life can be complicated and not fit neatly into a box!) So whether its physical or mental health issues “We are all into together”.

Poor mental health can knock on anyone’s door and often does. When I visit a carer for the first time, they tell me their “story”. I still find it a privilege to be let into their lives. Some carers I visited told me their experiences - they were a couple whose child had gone to university, had returned home and was seriously ill with depression. As I listened they told me about their hopes, fears and challenges both now and in future.

That’s a story I have listened to on more than one occasion with slightly different twists and turns. Stories differ but we try to be there for carers. Powys Carer Service never closes a case until folks are no longer caring or someone asks us to. We will also continue to support people for a few months after they have stopped being carers.

While I do not have a magic wand, Powys Carers Service does seek to make a difference, whether it’s filling in Personal Independent Payments (PIPs) applications, supporting someone in a medical assessment, assisting you to make a complaint/compliment or “just” listening to your story.

We will visit you in your own home or meet you in a cafĂ© near your home, the choice is yours. Powys Carers Service also works alongside other organisations and values the services they provide - because “We are all in it together”. Together we can provide a better service to carers. We seek to listen to the goals and needs of carers and support them in any way we can.

In addition, the carers I know give so much back to me - it’s a real privilege to know them.

Powys Carers Service has support workers throughout Powys and office staff who have lots of information. If you are a carer, or just want to know a bit more about the work we do - give us a call on 01597 823800 or check out our website.

Good mental health is important for everyone and like it or not “We are all in it together”. 

Many thanks to Philip for telling us about his role at Powys Carers Service. If you have experience as a carer in relation to mental health which you would like to share, we would love to hear from you. Comment below or contact us by email -, tel - 01686 628300 or twitter - @PAVOMH.

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