Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S011: Snapshots – Self-help and carer groups

By August 27, 2014 No Comments


Presenter: Antonella Serge

  • ConnectGroups provides grants of $300-1500 to self-help and support groups for people who have mental illness and their carers
  • ConnectGroups takes the headache and red-tape away from applying for government grants
  • They assist groups who might otherwise slip through the cracks of the mental health system and keep vulnerable groups viable
  • Antonella argued that support groups support relationship, hope and social networks 

For example, ‘Grandparents Taking Care of Grandchildren’ is one group that has been assisted. This group provides respite and social support for grandparents who are responsible for the full time care of their grandchildren.



Recovery Orientated Training in Sydney Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service

Presenter: Sam Higgins

Raised in this discussion was the importance of recovery orientated training for all staff in mental health services. A successful element in the Sydney Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Service’s recovery training was the sharing of participant staff’s personal recovery experiences.

Sam also highlighted the importance of using respectful and recovery orientated language when sharing information about consumers within the mental health service.


Care Connect

Presenter: Kathy Chalker

This presentation highlighted the importance of addressing the mental health needs of older australians in the aged care system, focussing on suicide and depression. For example, men over the age of eighty five are four times more likely than the general population to commit suicide.

Care Connect provides home care to the elderly living in their own homes. Kathy Chalker raised concerns that when people turn sixty five and are transitioned to the age care system, their mental health needs are often ignored. Home services often concentrate on areas such as meal provision and domestic assistance, however consumers also need support for their psychosocial wellbeing. 

Mary-Anne Lawrence