Professional Comment

The Mental Health Pandemic in Carers

Article supplied by A1 Care (

The mental health awareness campaigns, days and initiatives don’t seem to help many depressed, stressed and burnt-out carers. Currently, there’s a mental health pandemic among those who care for our loved ones. Long days, nights and weeks seem to blend into a never-ending loop.

The Mental Health Foundation stated that “71% of carers have poor physical or mental health”. The figure may come as a shock, but if you were to speak to a carer, they would assume the percentage would be higher.

Care agencies and care homes need to do more to look after the workforce that enables us to keep functioning. Who would look after our grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and old friends without the carers work? We couldn’t continue working if they weren’t there to do their job.

A1 Care (, claims that one of the critical reasons carers are struggling right now is due to the lack of staff within the industry. For many years now, and especially since the pandemic, fewer individuals have chosen to become a carer.

The current turnover rate in social care is approximately 31% and rising, which is more than double the UK cross-industry average of 15%. 60% of those who leave their job leave care altogether. In the past few years 50,000 carers have left the industry leaving over 165,000 jobs – figures released by Skills for Care.

If the industry were inundated with carers, they would thrive, and there would be less overtime, more time off and a more manageable workload. Despite the benefits of being a carer, such as good pay, flexibility, opportunities to build long-lasting relationships and being in a fulfilling role, many are choosing a 9-5, which they can do from home.

So, what can they do?

As most care agencies and care homes struggle to gain applications from within the UK, we suggest having a programme to hire from overseas. Offer visa sponsorship and go the extra mile to attract suitable candidates by providing a relocation package.

What your relocation package should include:
• Support with relocation for the carers families
• Paid plane ticket and airport pick up
• Temporary housing until they can find a permanent residence
• On-call assistance for any issues or support they may need
• An introduction to the area they will be living in and a warm welcome into the community

By providing an attractive and valuable offer, care agencies and care homes will be able to recruit the excellent carers they need.
More carers mean a more manageable workload and more time to focus on quality.

Which then will begin to tackle the current carers physical and mental wellbeing. They will be able to work more reasonable hours, have time for themselves and their family, and, most importantly, rest.

55% of carers reported to The Mental Health Foundation ( that they suffered from depression due to their caring role. Care agencies and care homes need to implement these hiring measures to decrease this number and significantly save many carers from burnout.

For all of the carer employers reading this, there are many warning signs you can look out for among your carers. Spotting these signs will lead to immediate support, as opposed to a carer being afraid to talk out and further burdened.

Signs you can look for:
• Being down
• Less talkative and unenthusiastic
• Significant tiredness
• Poor concentration or mistakes in their day-to-day work
• Withdrawing from people
• Constantly worried
• Frantic and stressed
• Lack of confidence

We know hiring overseas is a lengthy process, so we suggest doing these 5 things to support in the meantime:
• Appoint a mental health representative within the workforce.
• Introduce a scheme where they can talk to a wellbeing counsellor at the company’s expense if needed.
• Offer paid mental health days where they can take the day off.
• Remind them of their fantastic work and reassure them their workload will get easier.
• Encourage them to participate in wellness activities such as walking, yoga and meditating.

Right now, carer employers need to lead the way with the change in the industry. Too many have let their workers struggle.

Small steps every day can lead to change.

Eventually, with these turnarounds, we won’t need to resort to drastic measures, yet focus on the upkeep.

Let’s stand together to take care of our carers.