At Family Tree Wirral we aim to support carers and families by providing  the knowledge they need to be able to cope better with caring for someone with a mental illness, particularly where symptoms are more complex.

Family Tree was established in 2002 and was started by carers for carers. Although we are based in a hospital we are an independent registered charity.

We provide:

  • Counselling for carers
  • Advocacy and Advice for carers
  • Social Activities
  • Family Action Support Group

If you are caring for someone with a severe mental illness it can be very stressful. Not only are you concerned because someone you love is ill but you are also worried that the way you respond to their illness could make things worse not better.

We run workshops and short courses helping people to understand what is going on when someone experiences a period of severe mental illness.  We also offer information sessions, recent topics have included an up-date on benefits.

We provide advocacy and welfare benefits advice to carers and their family members and offer access to free counselling for carers.  We recognise that sometimes you need a break and so we also arrange theatre trips and days out.

Other roles include taking  carers’ concerns and needs to meetings where decisions can be taken about services and  providing  some training for staff working in those services about the role of the carer. We help you to get involved in commenting on existing services and developing new ones both within our own organisation and in the statutory services through consultations and surveys.

A few years ago we  extended our remit to include support for people with mental health problems themselves within their families as we have undertaken (with the support of Wirral PCT and the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust) a pilot project of intensive Family Intervention. Family Intervention is widely recognised as an effective therapy for psychotic illnesses and ideally involves working with the person with the mental health problem, their carers and other family members where appropriate over a lengthy period of time.

Family Tree Wirral kindly acknowledges funding from the Morgan Foundation towards our Carers’ Services Manager’s post, from the Lloyds Bank Foundation for our counselling service and from the Triangle Trust 1949 Fund for development activities over the period 2017-2020.

Family Tree Wirral is grateful for the support of staff and managers at the Stein Centre and for assistance in kind provided by Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Trust.