Parents and carers

Skills for Carers

Parents and siblings are often overlooked but their support and understanding can be crucial to help a sufferer with mental health and eating disorders.

Parents and carers of loved ones suffering from mental health issues experience severe distress and sense of isolation related to mental health stigma.
They often stop seeing their friends and extended family due to fear of being judged. Most of the carers experience extreme chronic tiredness, feel helpless and misunderstood by others.
Carers play a key role in the recovery of their loved ones, still their importance is undermined and forgotten.
The lack of appropriate support available for carers increase the high levels of distress and reduce their capacity to deal with every day challenges they need to overcome to support their family members.
Carers experience enormous pressure to provide their loved ones with the most supportive environment, taking them to appointments and being always available for them. That impacts their work performance and test their resilience.
Carers’ own needs being overlooked and worst, forgotten escalates the frustration, low mood and the feeling of guilt of being “not a good enough” carer. Carers experience a lot of shame and carry the burden of being the one to blame for their loved ones illnesses.
Meeting another carer and with opportunities to share and exchange their own experiences brings hope that the future can achieve new choices to bring about supported self care through learning new skills and strategies to assist the family’s unique recovery journey.
Now feeling understood and connected with others, these new skills and adjusted approaches applied in the home helps bring both the carer and the loved one closer together finally being able to put themselves first and able to talk about their feelings for each other without fear of being judged or ignored.
The empowerment Carers experience by joining our Skills for Carers meetings builds their confidence in their own skills and ability to become an expert by experience carer. 

We run Skills for Carers training workshops because parents and siblings are best placed to support self-care. Having trailblazed a whole family recovery support plan approach we are pleased that the NHS and NICE adopted this same approach in the updated 2018 service model and clinical standards across England’s NHS Eating Disorders community services.

These workshops offer a toolbox of skills for tackling eating disorder difficulties, focusing on warmth, empathy and self-reflection. Additionally, these workshops will help you learn how to reduce resistance to change by directing people in a gentle, non-confrontational way towards finding their own solutions. The workshops encourage you to work with your own capacity for change, becoming expert change coaches.

Workshop outcomes:

  • Greater understanding of rolling with resistance
  • Insight into the different caring styles (New Maudsley Method)
  • Greater understanding of the importance of goal setting
  • Being able to recognise the stages of change
  • Options to join our award winning Befriending service – connecting parents and siblings with lived experience

Course delivery

Training is delivered at various location.

All First Steps workshops are delivered by our team of expert trainers, specialising in mental health and eating disorder management.  First Steps is also able to provide support materials in various formats.

Confirmed dates for 2020:

  • 11th May
    2-hours Foundation session
    (Introduction to 5 week course)
    Long Eaton, Erewash
    (venue to be confirmed or will be delivered via our Zoom channel)
    Book now 

  • 6th June- 4th July
    5-week Course
    9:30-12:30 every Saturday morning
    North/East Derbyshire
    (venue to be confirmed or will be delivered via our Zoom channel)
    Book now

More dates to be announced soon.

Skills for Carers is a free 5 week course 9:30am to 12:30pm and our workshops are held at First Steps ED on Saturdays, or through a range of local centres with our Derbyshire partners.

To book a place or for more information please call First Steps ED: 01332 367571 or email:

All our courses are free to attend and open to any parent, both parents and older siblings with a Carers role.

Please note: The workshops run for a period of 5 weeks. After the first week the group will become closed to any new starter.

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