The Caring Together Art Journal Project

Mental health carers as partners in recovery

Video: Why include carers as partners in care?

Seven years ago, in the dark ages of 2014, I was stumbling to explain the barriers that were unnecessarily built between people experiencing mental health difficulties and the families and friends who loved them.

It seemed so simple to me. Why would we not build bridges rather than walls? And yet over and over I was hearing that families were excluded and shut out by mental health services. Rather than enabling caring and supportive relationships, the mental health system was often doing the exact opposite. But why? Was it a misunderstanding? Was it about being protective? Was it on request, or just by default? Was it sometimes just easier?

I also wanted to acknowledge that not all families are carers (and vice versa for that matter). I wasn’t suggesting forcing traumatic relationships on people who didn’t want them.

I cringe a little looking back at the childish animation I literally glued together with paper dolls and powerpoint slides – yet maybe that in itself tells a story. Why was someone with absolutely no training in multimedia, and not working in mental health either, spending their free time doing this? What does that homemade animation tell you about the desperation of families trying to be heard and included?

My little video premiered at the 2014 Mind Community Conference where I co-presented a paper on family inclusion in care, speaking alongside a mental health practitioner. Our small audience included clinicians, consumers and carers – reflecting the perfect trialogue.

My animation may just be black and white – but the question of inclusion (who, where, why, what) is not. 

Video: Why include carers as partners in care? (2014)
Story, illustrations and animation: Helen Wilding –
Music: “Royal Banana” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Cite web page as:  Wilding, H. (2021). Video: Why include carers as partners in care? The Caring Together Art Journal Project.


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