Barnsley Family and Friends Team

The Family & Friends Team

what we do….

The Barnsley Family & Friends Team is a bespoke service for people caring for someone with a mental health condition. We recognise carers as experts and as individuals with their own choices,  aspirations and needs. Caring for someone with a mental health condition can become stressful and your own health and wellbeing can at times deteriorate.  Our involvement can help you maintain good mental health and add additional tools to your toolkit.

Following the completion of a carer’s assessment, a CAN Plan (Choices, Aspirations and Needs) will be formulated to empower you on your caring journey.  Our work is holistic; every person we support has a different situation to he next person.  We’ll look at the “bigger picture” when supporting you.

what we offer…

  • Empowerment in developing coping mechanisms and strategies within your informal caring role.
  • Anxiety management.
  • We’ll help you develop further insight into signs and symptoms of mental health
  • Provide face to face 1:1 sessions in a choice of venues; a person’s own home, a clinic, or a place of mutual choosing across seven days with flexible working patterns
  • We liaise with other services that can support you in your caring role and can help guide you through a system that you may be unfamiliar with.

anything else? …..

We recognise that being a carer can be emotionally and physically demanding.  You may be so busy looking after someone else that you neglect your own health but it’s important that you take good care of your own wellbeing. We’ll advise on things like:-

  • Health and wellbeing
  • We’ll guide you through the system.
  • Give you time to talk and share your experience.
  • Confidential information and support service.
  • Information about other services and will signpost you to relevant organisations.
  • Keep you informed of events and activities.
  • Empower you to take care of yourself.






Take a look at our Carers’ Passport

There’s also lots of Information in our Carer’s resources section of the website!

who are we?…..

Gillian Cowell – Family & Friends Worker 

Gillian has many years of experience working in Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, and Autism. She is currently on part-time secondment as the trusts carers project management officer and is Chair of the staff carers network. She has a Degree in Applied Psychology, training and awards in Autism, Education, DUAL diagnosis (drugs and substance on mental health), Psychosocial interventions, (PSI) and Recovery, Complexities of Personality disorder (CAT Therapy), Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, Veteran’s awareness and intervention. Recently completing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) training to level 4 Masterclass. Having had a personal journey with her own mental health and experience of supporting family members with their own complex mental health issues she believes “qualifies” her for this role.

F&F Team

Kathryn Hines – Family & Friends Practitioner 

Kathryn joined the Family and Friends Team recently but has over 25 years’ experience in working within the NHS in various roles both clinical and non-clinical. Over the years she has worked in hospital and community and public services. She worked throughout the Covid 19 pandemic at Barnsley Hospital and alongside this worked for Public Health England as a Covid Clinical Case Worker.

Having studied psychology at a further education level and having a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree (BSc Hons) in Health and Social Care gives Kathryn a sound academic building block on which to base the Family and Friends practitioner post. She has an understanding and knowledge of psychology, motivational behaviour change, diet and nutrition/eating disorders, health psychology, health and wellbeing and delivering psychoeducation.

Kathryn has Post graduation education which gives the underpinning skills and knowledge in Nutrition and Public Health Management. All this especially her kind, mindful and caring nature more than equips her to be a part of the Family and Friends Team.

Rotational Temporary Staff Roles

We started our first student placement in September last year.  Kinza Malik joined our team working as an Assistant Psychologist. Kinza has recently completed her degree in Psychology followed by her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, specialising in eating disorders and mindfulness.  She had five years of experience working and volunteering within mental health, dementia and autism, applying her psychological skills and knowledge to each.


Want to be kept informed? 

If you support someone with a mental illness you may face practical, financial and emotional problems from time to time.

Our Friends and Family Facebook Group can help you keep you informed.

If you’d like details of events and you think you may benefit from live feeds from our team and other service information, please send your email address to:-