A new book sharing the stories of mental health carers from Dundee has been launched at a conference in the city.
Our Stories shares the personal experiences of 13 unpaid carers living in Dundee, who help support friends or family members living with mental health problems.
The Dundee Mental Health Cairn Fowk (DMHCF) group has put together the book in a bid to reach out to other carers in similar positions across the city and beyond.
Despite being launched just days ago, NHS Tayside has already taken over 50 copies to distribute in its mental health wards across the region.
DMHCF secretary Sandra Marshall said they hoped to help people realise they were carers.
“The book came about because we got some funding that we ring fenced for publishing. It was about the only thing we hadn’t done before ,” she said.
“Within different guises under different names we have tried all sorts of things, but publishing was about the only thing left to try. Carers had said they would write their stories for a newsletter and we developed it from there.
“We were trying to use it as another tool for us.
“One of the biggest things we have to do is help people recognise they are carers.
“All the stories start from when we don’t have support to when we do.”
Sandra said anyone whose life was affected by someone with mental health could reach out to them for support.
She added: “Our definition of carer, the way we look at it, is if your life is affected by mental health. I’m a full-time carer for my husband but I was doing it for 10 years before I registered the fact that I’m a carer and I do need support.
“Our group is made up of unpaid volunteers — they’re mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, wives and husbands.”
The book was launched at a special conference organised by the group in the Apex Hotel.
“The conference went really well,” Sandra said.
“We had 40+ people there and we had Addaction doing a talk about addiction and we had a gentleman from the Scottish Recovery Network to show how recovery is possible for people with mental health care.”
For more information about the group, visit www.dmhcairnfowk.org or call 07704 514103.
Copies of the book can be requested through the website.