Authors: Pauline D’Astoli, VIC
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Mental health carers confront many barriers and failings in a health system where there is a structural stigma and people with mental illness do not receive equity of access to quality health care. The mental health carer, acting in many roles such as “advocate” and “care coordinator”, needs incredible reserves of strength and determination to gain appropriate services and support for the mentally ill family member whose physical health care is often neglected. I have developed an eleven-step reflective action tool to employ when I encounter difficulties, challenges or adverse situations that negatively impact on me in my role of carer/advocate for my family member. I acknowledge my anger and coach myself to process a particular situation, gaining clarity about solution focussed action that addresses and possibly resolves this situation. With a clear goal established, I have the composure to improve my ability to act for my family member.