One in every four people will experience some kind of mental health problem this year. And every year. In fact, the World Health Organisation predicts that depression will be the world’s most common illness by 2030.

Local businessmen Andrew Peace and Mark McKenning own and run Caremark in Barnsley and Rotherham. The homecare company specialises in helping people to remain independent by providing a range of care and support services in people’s own home. Naturally, the mental health and wellbeing of their clients is a top priority for Andrew, Mark and their team.

But there’s an issue that both men feel equally as passionate about. And that’s the mental health and well-being of the hundreds of carers who support Caremark’s clients, day in, day out. Sometimes in challenging and distressing circumstances.

“Whilst being incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, the very nature of the role means that care workers can be affected by the working pressures or by seeing the health of a beloved client deteriorate or sadly, through death, as a result of illness or old age,” explains Andrew.

Determined to tackle these possible issues head-on, Caremark provides training programmes for all its carers which include modules on health and wellbeing, both mental and physical. The importance of rest and exercise in combatting stress, understanding the benefits of good nutrition and how to recognise signs of stress, anxiety and depression are just some of the topics covered.

“It’s totally understandable for a care worker to feel bereaved by the loss of a client and we recognise the need to help people through these difficulties. Sometimes it’s simply a case of them having someone to talk to but we do all we can to minimise distress and provide support. You can’t expect someone to carry on and be able to provide exceptional care elsewhere without being sensitive to these things,” adds Mark.

As well as prevention and intervention techniques, Andrew and Mark feel it’s important to safeguard the mental health of their workforce by creating an open and caring culture that makes their whole team feel supported and looked after.

They pride themselves on promoting a family-feel within the business through a constant flow of communication. A spirit of collaboration is encouraged through regular team meetings, social days and initiatives designed to reward and acknowledge the incredible work done by all.

“Being a carer is an amazing thing to do. It’s not easy and I have such admiration for each and every member of our team,” says Andrew. “We have a duty of care to those who choose to make caring for others their vocation in life. After all, without our wonderful care workers, where would we be?”

The 10th October is World Mental Health Day and this year, the World Health Organisation have chosen to make ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’ its main theme. As you can imagine, Andrew, Mark and their team at Caremark are supporting the message wholeheartedly.

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About Caremark

Caremark is the UK's largest privately owned care franchise with a turnover of £65m. We are a leading home care provider with over 100 offices in the UK and Ireland. We support over 6000 customers and employ more than 5400 carers who deliver on average, over 96,000 hours of care, every single week, across the UK.

Established in 2005, we are proud to be a wholly UK owned and operated home care franchise which has an established and successful UK based network. 43% of Caremark franchisees are female, which is almost double the national franchising average. It's a figure we are really proud of. Not only that, but a large proportion of our management team are women, including our Managing Director, Finance Director, National Operations Manager and National Training Manager.

The UK has an ageing population which is estimated to grow some 58% in the next 20 years. As the demand for more complex and highly professional levels of care increases, we continue to provide a quality service to those in need of help and support. There is also a developing awareness that care at home can benefit not only those individuals in need but the hospitals and other organisations that are also responsible for looking after them.