Almost three quarters (72%) of carers in the UK suffer from mental ill health due to their caring role, research for Carers Week has found.

Over half (61%) of carers said their physical health had worsened as a result of caring.

Unless more support is provided, the UK’s unpaid carers won’t be healthy enough to care for their sick and disabled family and friends, says the report.

Carers Trust is one of eight national charities calling for urgent support for unpaid carers to be healthy and connected to their communities and says that health care professionals, employers, communities and the wider public have a crucial role to play in helping to support carers to look after their own wellbeing.

Giles Meyer, CEO of Carers Trust, said:

“Many unpaid carers are carrying out hugely demanding roles, caring for their sick and disabled family members at the expense of their own mental and physical health. If carers aren’t better supported through health and support services, then we face a total collapse of an already over-burdened system, resulting in carers being too sick to care.”

The research showed that most carers felt that the impact of stress and anxiety on their own health was their greatest worry about their role as a carer.

Other factors which impacted their health were not getting enough sleep, providing hands-on care for the person they care for, and managing financially.

During Carers Week, services within the Carers Trust Network will be running a number of events, such as workshops, stands and coffee and cake mornings, to help raise awareness of carers and how they can be better supported.

The Working for Carers programme, which is led by Carers Trust and aims to support carers in London to get into work, has organised a series of activities to help raise further awareness.