Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a collection of some frequently asked questions and answers. If you have any other enquiries please feel free to contact us
We provide a rich range of services to support families, friends and partners caring for a loved one who has experienced serious mental illness. We also work with health and social care professionals. Services we provide include:
• One-to-one support and advocacy for carers
• A network of carer support groups across NI
• Training for carers and professionals
• A confidential Helpline for carers
• Social opportunities where carers can meet other carers
• Facilitating engagement with carers in policy and service development
For more detailed information on all of our services CAUSE provide and how to access them, please follow this link http://www.cause.org.uk/for-carers/services-to-support-carers/
CAUSE is a peer-led organisation which means that we are run by carers for carers. Our team of trained Carer Advocates who provide our front line services all have direct personal experience of caring for a loved one with a serious mental illness.
Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to express their views and concerns, access information and services, defend their rights and responsibilities and explore choices and options.
Our Carer Advocates are past/present carers who will as an advocate both listen to you and speak for you in times of need where you cannot and work with you so that ultimately you feel empowered and self-confident in caring.
The type of help you need, or if you find yourself in a crisis situation will decide the service you need to contact to get help. Access and referrals to secondary care services (community mental health teams, acute care etc.) are made through your GP.
If your loved one is already engaged with services and has a key worker (e.g. a CPN or social worker), contacting their key worker can be a good starting point in seeking additional help.
Read more about Understanding Mental Health Services and the jargon in our For Carers webpages: http://www.cause.org.uk/for-carers/services-to-support-carers/
CAUSE provides training specifically tailored to meet the needs of families, partners and friends supporting a loved one who has experience serious mental illness. These are our PREP, TLC and CAUSE Family and Friends Empowerment courses.
We also provide information on training, events, workshops or conferences which will be of interest to cares run by other organisations.
To find out more about available training go to our News and Events webpage: http://www.cause.org.uk/news
Currently we provide our services in the following health and social care trust areas: Belfast, South Eastern, Southern and Western. Our Helpline is available to anyone calling from anywhere in NI.
You can also connect with us from anywhere online through our social media links on Facebook and Twitter!
It can be really difficult to talk about your concerns or experiences especially at times where you feel very emotional.
Many carers attending our groups simply listen and observe until they feel comfortable enough to participate in discussion or speak about themselves.
CAUSE support groups are there to provide you with a safe space and meet other carers and know that you are not alone.
Carers NI provide an Advice Line 028 90 43 98 43. There are also lots of good community advice services across NI providing benefits advice and support with appeals and tribunals. Check the Advice NI website to find out your nearest local advice centre: http://www.adviceni.net/
CAUSE provides a range of invaluable advocacy and support services but does not provide professional counselling services. For good information on how to find and a chose a counselor or therapist, click on this link to the British Association of Counselors and Psychotherapists (BACP): http://www.bacpregister.org.uk/public/