12th – 18th May marks Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK.
More than 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental disorders. Many more experience mental health problems. Poor mental health is more common in vulnerable and disadvantaged groups such as poor populations and people exposed to conflict, disaster or other emergencies.
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It is predicted that the prevalence of mental illness generally is only set to increase, with the economic cost of mental disorders globally over the next 20 years estimated at US $16,000 billion.
Most care of people with mental illness is provided by their family members, particularly so in developing countries where provision for mental illness is underfunded and under-resourced and 75% of sufferers remain untreated. Unpaid and unrecognised, carers carry the full burden of care, which impacts on them physically, emotionally and economically. Over 60% of carers themselves report experiencing depression and anxiety.
Our work promotes practical support and systemic change for carers: carers groups for peer support and social empowerment; alternative caring options providing high quality care for the cared-for; livelihoods options tailored to co-exist with caring responsibilities; and lobbying by and for carers with Government to ensure long term change.
Over the next year we will be working with 400 carers in India and 1,500 in Nepal. It costs just £20 a year to support each carer and this provides them with peer support, medical help, counselling and access to income generation activities.
Together we can make a change – carers, partners, Government and you… please support our work with carers of people with mental illness. Help us to reach out and transform more lives.