Discover why caring is no longer a burden for Pavitra as we celebrate World Mental Health Day

Pavitra cares for her son who has epilepsy. She was previously a migrant labourer; a challenging role, especially given her son's condition.

Pavitra-Poudel-1024x768
Pavitra with her son and goats.

Pavitra has been given a goat by Carers Worldwide, an organisation funded by UK Aid Direct, that works in Nepal with local partner, LEADS Nepal.

Carers Worldwide provides support to 1500 unpaid family carers of people living with mental health conditions or epilepsy.

Now Pavitra receives a regular income, allowing her to settle in the village with her son, and to start her own livelihood.

Carers’ tremendous commitment and the critical role that they play in the lives of relatives with mental health conditions are largely unrecognised in Nepal.

Unsupported, they can be isolated and are at a high risk of developing anxiety or depression and physical ailments, as a direct consequence of their caring responsibilities. Many carers are unable to continue their previous employment.

Child carers are frequently forced to drop out of school.

Carers and their families typically live in poverty as a result of loss of income and opportunities.

Carers Worldwide project aims to:

  • strengthen medical and counselling facilities for carers
  • promote mutual support groups
  • set up alternative care and respite arrangements
  • provide livelihoods and opportunities to develop marketable skills
  • highlight the needs of carers
  • advocate for changes in policy and practice

Improving the lives and prospects of carers has a positive effect on the lives of the relatives with mental health conditions for whom they care. The carers are able to provide a better quality of care and the overall increase in wellbeing and security of the household has huge knock-on benefits for the health and wellbeing of the relative living with a mental health condition or epilepsy.

By highlighting the existence and needs of carers across the project area with local government authorities and community organisations, over the last two years Carers Worldwide has:

  • integrated 400 carers into support groups
  • trained 200 local community health volunteers and 64 government health workers to provide appropriate health support
  • established regular counselling services in the community
    trained and supported over 750 carers in skills and helped them to establish new sustainable livelihoods that can work with their caring responsibilities
  • provided 225 child carers with ongoing support from school authorities, enabling them to return to school
  • raised 44% of project households above the poverty line, compared to 3% at the start of the project
  • registered two Carers Associations and one Carers Cooperative to enable carers to advocate for policy change, and to work with local agencies to ensure sustainability of services established by the project.

To find out more about their work, visit www.carersworldwide.org