A third of UK carers do not seek medical support for a mental health condition, according to the Embracing Carers™ survey by science and technology company Merck. The survey highlights the often-overlooked needs of unpaid caregivers. The findings from the survey coincide with the launch of a new global initiative, Embracing Carers™.
Led by Merck and guided by Carers UK and other leading international carer organisations, Embracing Carers™ aims to raise awareness of the crucial role of carers in the lives of patients.
The Embracing Carers™ International Survey1 questioned 3,516 unpaid carers across seven countries (UK, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, US, Australia), with the UK accounting for 503 responses from carers. More than half (54%) of the unpaid carers in the UK don’t have time to book or attend medical appointments for themselves. Additionally, 3 in 10 (30%) of those surveyed felt they needed medical help or support for a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or stress due to their role as an unpaid carer but had not sought medical help. Specifically, more than 57% of the respondents in the UK felt they had experienced feelings of depression.
Helena Herklots, Chief Executive, Carers UK, said: “The results from the Embracing Carers™ International Survey revealed the extent of the impact caring has on carers’ health and wellbeing in the UK. Carers are spending so much time putting the health of their loved ones before their own, they simply don’t have the time to look after themselves. We welcome the launch of the Embracing Carers™ initiative as we must all work together to advance access to resources and ultimately improve the lives of carers, both in the UK and around the world.”
Additional survey findings from the UK include:
• More than half (55%) of unpaid carers do not feel supported at all by the government in their role as an unpaid carer
• Nearly two-thirds (61%) found it hard to sleep on a regular basis, and just over three-quarters (76%) reported feeling tired most of the time.
Elisabeth Prchla, General Manager, Merck UK & Ireland, said: “Many of us have experienced, or will experience, what it is like to be a carer. As a company Merck is committed to responding to the unique needs of carers, both in the UK and around the world, to ensure they have the necessary resources and support to take care of their own health. Caregiving needs to be made a public health priority and, as part of our company’s continued efforts, we hope to bring attention to those who are serving as carers.”