A carer is a person who takes care of a family member or friend who requires their help and support (7). Caring responsibilities are typically unpaid and can vary from assisting with personal care tasks to emotional support. Carers may care for a person or family member with, for example, disabilities, illness or mental health conditions.
Being a carer is a risk factor for mental health difficulties as it has been associated higher psychological distress in comparison to non-carers (8).
Due to COVID-19, there has been an increased reliance on family members and friends for support and care (9). This has increased the number of unpaid carers and the pressure they are under; resulting in a higher risk of carers developing mental health difficulties (10).
1. Medical directorate and Nursing directorate. NHS England’s Commitment to Carers. 2014 Apr.
2. George ES, Kecmanovic M, Meade T, Kolt GS. Psychological distress among carers and the moderating effects of social support. BMC Psychiatry [Internet]. 2020 Apr 6 [cited 2021 Jan 22];20(1):154. Available from: https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-020-02571-7
3. Carers UK. Carers UK responds to ONS statistics on the impact of Covid-19 on caring. 2020 Jul 9; Available from: https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/news/carers-uk-responds-to-ons-statistics-on-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-caring
4. Willner P, Rose J, Stenfert Kroese B, Murphy GH, Langdon PE, Clifford C, et al. Effect of the COVID‐19 pandemic on the mental health of carers of people with intellectual disabilities. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil [Internet]. 2020 Nov 21 [cited 2021 Jan 22];33(6):1523–33. Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jar.12811