This chapter focuses on the carers’ views and experiences of support from forensic mental health services, including information and involvement in their relatives’ or friends’ care and treatment, the benefits and issues with current carer support groups, and what they identify as gaps in support. We specifically focus on forensic carers’ experience of visiting relatives and friends in secure hospital settings as one aspect of that support. Finally, we consider the ways in which carers propose that support to them could be improved.
It is difficult to disentangle the issues of support, information and involvement within carers’ reflections on their experiences, so these are all covered in this section. For instance, good quality information or a sense of being involved can both be implicitly supportive measures. Specific interventions, such as carer support groups or family therapy offer a combination of support, information and involvement.