CALD Carers Retreat 2009 – Magic In A Carer’s Day

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Authors: Catherine Tavernese and Katherine Owen, NSW

Year: 2010

Event: 2010 TheMHS Conference

Subject: TRANSCULTURAL, CARERS, FAMILIES, Research & Evaluation

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 9780975765364

Abstract: In 2009 eighty three carers of a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) background who are living with and caring for a person who has a mental illness, attended a three day retreat in the Hunter Valley. The concept for the retreat emerged as a way of effectively promoting mental health respite services to CALD carers. This following will outline how cooperation between the Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC), Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCC) and the Respite Services of the Schizophrenia Fellowship developed and promoted the model for the retreat. During the retreat carers from 12 cultural backgrounds shared stories of their caring roles and the difficulties they encounter as carers; shared dancing and music from their culture; and gave workers an insight into the value of carers having a break from their caring role. “the people were great and in the same situation as me, that is what made it special” (quote from a carer). The planning for the retreat, program of activities and carer evaluation of the retreat will be presented in this paper along with some reflections on the importance of partnerships when reaching out to a diverse cultural group with a common role of caring and on improvements for a future “everything was perfect, charming and magical”(quote from a carer) retreat.

Three hundred carers applied to attend the Hunter Valley Retreat, with only one hundred spaces available. Schizophrenia Fellowship Inc (SFNSW) in collaboration with Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres (CCRCs)) funded many of those carers who were unable to attend the Hunter Valley Retreat, so they could go on mini retreats held by The Sanctuary Respite Centre, at North Head. This paper will outline the service model of The Sanctuary Respite Centre and the Carers’ response to same.

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