Abstract / Introduction
Carers who identify as ‘Black’ are a group that is thought to experience exclusion and marginalisation within existing services (JCPMH, 2014). Whilst, there is some research that explores caregiving attitudes, experiences and needs of BME family carers, it is documented that little is known about knowledge or awareness and uptake of counselling services. Further it has been empirically noted that individuals from BME groups are less likely to access counselling services than White British people. This would suggest that this is an underrepresented area of research, particularly within the UK. Thus, the present study is concerned with the experience of Black carers with a focus on wellbeing and how they ‘cope’ in relation to their caring role.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of six carers who identified as Black. Participants accounts of their lived experiences were recorded, verbatim transcribed and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA).
Three themes were identified: ‘Being a carer’, ‘Being Black’ and ‘Being a Black Carer’. Although, separate from each other each theme is all part of the repertoire highlighting that although they are different from each other, they are also related to each other. These master themes are not opposites, but different yet integrated parts of Carers who identify as ‘Black’.
The findings indicated that the experience of wellbeing for Black carers is predominantly influenced by cultural identity and perceptions. This research supports existing literature on carers who identify as Black. The findings of this research offer some useful implications for practice and service provision. Seeking to understand what constitutes and contributes to the experiences of carers who identify as Black.