Caring for Carers
Caring for the Caregivers
It is no surprise that those in the caring profession are often susceptible to stress, anxiety, physical strain and a diminished quality of life (McBee, 2003), and that tending to their own needs and mental well-being can be difficult. This doesn’t mean that the resources are not there, rather access to programmes designed to help can be problematic due to financial, geographical and bureaucratic barriers.
There have been many programmes developed to help those working with vulnerable groups cope with the stress and the demands of their jobs. These programmes vary, depending on whether they are specific to the type of illness/disability/ or youth care setting, or whether they are more general and wide reaching.
In recent years, there have been a number of studies conducted that focus on mindfulness practices and mindfulness based interventions (MBI) as a possible tool for caregivers/youth workers with positive results (Lewis et.al, 2012; Carlson et.al, 2006; Wahbeh et.al, 2010; Zylowska 2015; McBee, 2011). In fact, one study (Carlson et, al, 2008) that randomly assigned 78 caregivers to either an 8 week MBI or a CCES programme (caregiver education support), found that the MBI was more effective with improving overall mental well-being and stress levels. This suggests that mindfulness and MBIs are a viable approach in dealing with stress.
The Sanctuary has been developing and delivering mindfulness and meditation programmes and courses, since its inception in 1998. It has worked with many different social care and youth organisations with a mission to help and support those most in need. As part of this mission, it designed the Mindfully Compassionate Wellbeing Programme for all those working in the caring field. This is a practical, innovative programme that can be adapted to particular needs and requirements.