S67: Building Resilience in Carers: Our Values and Vision for the Future

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By September 12, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Pauline D'Astoli

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Building Resilience in Carers: Our Values and Vision for the Future

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers


Pauline is a mental health carer and advocate. Pauline is a member of carer support groups Peninsula Carer Council and Inner South Family and Friends.

The complex experience of being a mental health carer has changed her life and she is deeply committed to Mental Health reform and redesign. She is a consumer representative on Mental Health Community Advisory Group with Peninsula Health and Physical Health Portfolio Group with Alfred Health to address improving the physical health of people living with a mental illness. Pauline is a member of Tandem’s Speaker Register.

Caring for someone with a mental illness is complex and demanding and can build up over time. It is a very personal experience. Carers provide substantial and often under recognized value to their community with sub-optimal support and a lack of appropriate services. This can be overwhelming for a carer.

Our core values and vision for the future of the person we care for underpin what we want to achieve in our role as carers. Being clear about our core values helps sustain and guide us on this journey. Having a structured process for clarifying our vision contributes to the resilience and effectiveness of the carer. How can we think big and start small?

Using an ordinary object like Russian nested dolls, the presentation will visually clarify powerful but simply worded aims in moving from what might be described as our "world peace" idea to examining what our area of significant influence might be in our own current situation. For example, mental health reform and redesign may well be our "world peace" idea, but it would lead to paralysis unless we can connect with an immediate, achievable, smaller level of action.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: Participants will learn of a process for "big picture thinking" to promote resilience in a carer
Learning Objective 2: Carers need to reflect with clarity and purpose on their role of mental health advocacy as they deal with mental health services and providers

Dr Graham Mackenzie (http://twitter.com/gmacscotland)

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