In April 2016 WLC worked with Like Minded in response to their new strategy to coproduce a project that focused on carers and their role when looking after someone experiencing poor mental health.

Over fifty carers, mental health professionals, commissioners and GPs from across NW London attended the event at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith to discuss the impact that the Like Minded strategy will have on their role.
Attendees discussed a number of concerns surrounding the visibility and recognition of carers for people who use mental health services; a need for resourcing training for carers in order to raise awareness and skills, and a push for different ways of working, such as the Open Dialogue approach and peer support- for both carers and service users themselves.
Next, the strategy and its impact was brought to life, by Heart to Heart Theatre Company, who, using the brilliance of forum theatre acted out three scenarios.
These scenarios were developed in collaboration with local carers and touched upon a number of complex circumstances that many carers face.
They included
  • The difficulty of confidentiality for carers
  • The role of a carer is in ensuring service users take their medication
  • The issues affecting
    • young carers
    • those who care for more than one person
    • carers of individuals with a dual diagnosis
  • The stigma related to criminal activity and mental health
  • The lack of awareness regarding rights and discrimination legislation that protects carers, and the overall emotional stresses of caring responsibilities.
All attendees took part through watching, interacting and demonstrating different ways of coping in a particular situation in order to change the outcome of the scene. Each scene was then followed by a wide discussion of the issues affecting carers.
This helped to highlight areas in which carers require more ongoing support, information and structure in order access help.