Carer Support

Mental illness affects around 20 per cent of Australians at some stage of their lives; hence there are many people in a similar situation to you, your family and your friends. Caring for a loved with a mental illness may be daunting; however it can also be an extremely rewarding role.

The term carer here is used to refer to the primary support person for someone with a mental illness. A carer can be a loved one’s wife, husband, partner, child, parent, neighbour or friend. Carers are people who invest time, energy and support, generally in an unpaid capacity. In culturally diverse communities, responsibility for the provision of care may involve the entire community.

A patient's primary carer is most often someone they feel:

  • They can rely on
  • Worry about them most
  • Help them the most
  • Do odd jobs to assist them in their day to day life
  • Comfortable asking for help

Your rights as a carer

As a carer you have the right:

  • To be recognised as a carer
  • To visit during visiting hours or as otherwise arranged
  • To information:
    • Information of personal nature can only be shared with the consent of your loved one
    • Information of a general nature that can be shared in non-personal and may include factual information to assist and better understanding mental illness and treatment
  • To know how to contact us
  • To ask questions
  • To have policies and practices explained
  • To ask for assistance to source support services

To be fully engaged in your loved one’s care

How to support yourself while supporting others

  • Develop a practical, positive attitude is always a good place to start
  • Develop a sense of balance
  • Not be afraid to ask questions about the illness, treatments and services
  • Maintain good health
  • Making a written agreement with your loved one (e.g. a Wellness Plan)