Authors: Linda Rosie, ACT
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Carer Engagement Project was designed in two parts. Part One provided a day-long workshop for mental health carers throughout Australia. Part Two provided ongoing monitoring and reporting on issues of importance that were decided by the carers involved.
Why is it important to engage with carers? Many clinicians already know how important the relationship between carers and consumers is and how much carer involvement can add and speed up the pathway to diagnosis, as well as the absolute need for carer involvement in the process of recovery based care.
The lives of carers and consumers are extremely close and carers can see the effects of the illness and the difference between the person when they are well and when they are unwell. Carers are the holders of key information and knowledge which can help in the ongoing care of the consumer. However, the impact of this care and responsibility on the carer can affect the carer’s life, family and their health. The Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) set out to find out just what that impact was and to measure its ongoing impacts on the lives of carers.
Australia has a small but multicultural and diverse population. Our Indigenous population is 2 per cent and is spread over a huge land mass. A staggering 32 per cent of the population live outside the larger urban centres of populations over 250,000 people. In this context, the MHCA workshops were delivered in every state and territory with almost two thirds delivered to rural, remote and regional centres.