Date Revised:

When you care for someone with mental health problems confidentiality can be complex, hard to resolve, and frustrating.

You may find yourself feeling that your efforts are not appreciated, as even when you try to help, you cannot get to the facts or discuss the case with any of the professionals involved. 

If you care for someone with mental health problems and you want to know about their treatment make sure they have told the professionals that support them that this is ok.  You might need to fill out a consent form (one is available on the Rethink website). 

You can still contact professionals who support the person you care for if you want to tell them something, perhaps because you are worried. Without permission they won’t be able to share any information with you but they can listen to you.

We jointly produced a factsheet on carers and confidentiality with the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

You can also find out more about confidentiality and carers on the Rethink Mental Illness website.