Originally Posted by james_uk
James, I understand your concern. Your friend is facing an extraordinary challenge. Although I don't live in the UK (but in Texas) some things may translate to your health services.
If at all possible to see a mental health professional without a physcian's referral, your friend should RUN not walk to such a service. If a time delay is inherit in such an appointment or she is unable to get a required referral, I would recommend calling a hospice group in her area. Even though her mum isn't a hospice client, they may have seminars, workshops, a grief support group to join or referral capabilities that could help both ladies. A minister or social worker from the health service or local hospital might be another option/resource. Even asking the funeral home director about how to access grief counseling services may be fruitful.
Communicating with or joining a caregiver's support group can be a big help. She may need to find respite (temporary adult daycare) help to attend meetings, seminars, or just to sleep soundly for a well deserved nap or movie.
This poor lady has given up and your friend needs help in caring for her as you have rightly discerned. She cannot change her mother's outlook without the help of mental health professionals.
Does the UK have a pension or subsidy system that would give your friend some income for taking care of her mother?
Your friend is fortunate to have you aid her search for help.
God Bless all three of you!