Mental health charity calls for recognition of clients’ friends

Mental health services and policy makers need to be made aware
of the important role that friends play in caring for people
experiencing mental distress, according to a leading mental health
charity the Mental Health Foundation.

New research by reveals that more than half of the 421 friends
surveyed said they needed support in their informal caring role,
although almost one-third said this support was not available.

One-third of those trying to support friends with mental health
problems also said that more information would have been helpful,
and 39 per cent would have liked a professional to talk things over

The survey, which aimed to explore the experiences of friendship
in relation to mental distress, reinforces the need for the
National Carers Strategy “to recognise the value and importance of
informal carers in the lives of people who need constant

The survey states:”In this research it is reported that 75 per
cent of those experiencing mental distress receive support or help
from their friends. This help may range from a listening ear to
financial and practical support. It is very important that
government policy recognises the role of this group of people who
provide informal care and support for their friends.”

Is Anybody There? A survey of Friendship and
Mental Health

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