A carer plays a critical support role for many people with a mental health challenge – one cannot overstate how vital their duty is. Often, these carers are close friends and family members who sacrifice many things such as education pursuits, employment and emotional wellbeing, to provide the best support to their loved one. While a very rewarding responsibility, being a mental health carer can also be equally challenging. Carers often get so caught up caring for their loved one they forget about their own wellbeing until it’s too late.
Over the last 30 years, mental health carer support has become a more prominent part of the health and wellbeing section of society. Countless organisations now exist to support a carer as much as the individual with mental-ill health. A mental health carer can get support through several strategies, including:
A modern-day mental health carer is (highly) likely to be able to access free and confidential counselling through a specialised organisation. Studies confirm that receiving professional advice and engaging in open conversations are very effective coping strategies for dealing with the mix of emotions that come with caring for someone with mental ill-health.
A mental health system in any state, especially WA, is complex and can be challenging to navigate through correctly. An advocacy team like HelpingMinds’ will endeavour to help with understanding your rights, complaints, referrals, resources and much more. Furthermore, these individuals are committed to ensuring your desires are expressed and valued when decisions are being made about your loved one.
3. Peer Support Worker
Seeking support from someone who has gone through a similar experience is often comforting and helpful to carers. Consequently, many mental health support organisations like HelpingMinds connect current carers with those who have been there before.
4. Support Events, Groups & Workshops
Many organisations host and facilitate a support events, groups and workshops for individuals caring after family and friends with a mental health challenge. All of these activities whether it involves pampering or a day out exploring the beautiful Broome landscape, provide a safe environment for carers to come together and support each other in a close community.
Many organisations provide mental health carers with respite, which allows them the chance to break away from their usual caring duties and responsibilities which are taken care of by someone else. Respite services included – emergency, planned, in-home, residential, day programs, retreats and recreation-based. A respite offers carers the opportunity to recharge their batteries, so to speak.
Where a carer is supporting a person with a longstanding and severe psychosocial disability that impacts their daily life, there may be eligible assistance through the National Disability Scheme (NDIS). With select cases, mental health help organisations can support you through the NDIS process, including the application paperwork and gathering supporting evidence of the mental health challenge.
As we can see, there are a number of ways a mental health carer can get support – which is often free and easily accessible – as they journey through their life. If you are a mental health carer in Perth and are interested in learning more about support services available to you, we strongly recommend connecting with HelpingMinds. Alongside helping those dealing with mental health challenges, HelpingMinds offers a plethora of mental health support services to adults and families, young people, schools and communities across West Australia and Darwin.