Authors: Brimbank Carers Group
Event: 2008 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Family/Carer Provided Services
Abstract: “I was lost and didn’t know which way to turn”.
“I was desperate to get some help”.
These were the some of the pleas being expressed by desperate carers of people with a mental illness, in the mid-west region of Melbourne back in 2002. To support these isolated and frustrated carers, the Brimbank Carers Group was formed in June of that year. What has evolved over the last 6 years is a dynamic support program of education, mutual support, advocacy and social/recreational activities. Many carers have been with the group since its inception and new carers joining in have swelled the monthly attendance figures, with numbers often over 20. Why is the Brimbank Carers Group so successful? As one carer stated:
“I have been helped and I can help others. If you can ease someone else’s pain, then that’s what it is all about”. (Pam 2007)
Description of Facility/Organisation:
The Brimbank Carers Group (for carers of people with a mental illness), operates in the mid-west Region of Metropolitan Melbourne and covers the areas of Brimbank, Sunbury (including the township of Bulla) and the Shire of Melton. The group submits an annual application for funding to Carers Victoria Respite Options and has been successful over the last few years in receiving $2,500.00 p.a. Brimbank Carers Group also receives in-kind support from Norwood Association Inc. (Psychiatric Disability Support Service) in the form of organisational support, which includes out-of-hours staff support, pamphlet development, promotional materials, mail outs and facility use. The Mid-West Area Mental Health Service provides out-of-hours staff facilitation support and the availability of an alternate venue. At present there are 23 registered members of the Brimbank Carers Group. Over the last 6 months, the average attendance per session has been 18.