Authors: Emma Ladd, Primrose Lentin, Sean Hegarty, Tina Shaw
Event: 2015 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Families, Caring for Young & Old
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The social, emotional and physical demands of caregiving impact carers’ health and wellbeing. Carer partnerships, involvement in consumer care pathways, and maximising carer wellbeing are National Standards for Mental Health Services1.
Aims:The purpose of this research was to: explore carers’ views on managing their health and wellbeing, identify service and funding gaps, and inform service planning for Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria.
Method: The mixed methods research involved 30 carers from Victoria’s South Metropolitan and Gippsland regions. Between them, participants supported 38 consumers. Data were gathered through four focus groups, nine telephone interviews, and written feedback. Descriptive statistics and thematic analysis were the data analysis methods.
Findings: Service gaps were identified under two main themes: Improvement to the healthcare system, and Direct carer support. Similar to previous investigation2, major needs identified include: An integrated healthcare system; personalised, continued service provision for consumers; and comprehensive health support for carers. Findings were similar across both regions. Issues with isolation, transport, and quantity of localised services were reported more frequently in Gippsland.
Conclusions: Closing the identified gaps would enable carers to better care for consumers and themselves. This research highlights existing service gaps, and provides insight into how best carer support can be achieved.
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