Book of Proceedings: “SHARING MY STORY MADE ME STRONGER”- A CARER CONSULTANTS PERSONAL STORY OF BEING A CARER AND A CONSUMER.

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Authors: Sofie Cirka, VIC

Year: 2014

Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings 2014

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9757653-9-5

Abstract: Melbourne Health and NWAPMHP (North Western Aged Persons Mental Health Program) is currently moving towards Recovery focused and Persons Centred approach and service. This is being achieved through policy change, staff education and family and carers involvement. The concept of Recovery is particularly challenging for the Aged Mental Health carers, as carers watch their loved ones deteriorate slowly every day. This is where a Carer Consultant with lived experience can provide meaning to the idea of Recovery and a lifeline of information, education and experience and mutual support (which complements the approach of professionals) Through Family/Carer Peer Support Groups that the Carer Consultant facilitates, carers gain a sense that one is not alone, that "we're all in the same boat" In this paper, a Carer Consultant will share her lived experience, from initially being a carer to her mother with mental Illness and then later being diagnosed herself with severe depression and treated in an Inpatient Unit as an Involuntary Patient. The Carer Consultant will discuss how her own journey and recovery has enabled her to assist other carers in understanding Recovery.

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