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Looking after ourselves

Casual Contributor

What Do Carers Want

If you as a Carer could ask the Government for help with anything, what would it be?


Re: What Do Carers Want

I would ask the government to re-fund assisted housing accomodation for those being discharged from hospital who have nowhere to live.Having worked at soup kitchens in the inner city of Melbourne, it has been very distressing for me to discover that a very large percent of our city's homeless live with a mental illness. Many of these people have burnt bridges with their families and have to resort to sleeping on the streets and under bridges.
I would also ask the government to spend more money on raising awareness within the community on mental illness. Without knowledge and education on this subject, fear, ignorance and stigma will continue to flourish. Stigma isn't confined to those who live with a mental illness. It also has a debilitating effect on their family members and carers. So public education is a very important issue. I would also ask the government to provide more financial suppor to carers. Many carers give up their careers and jobs to be a stay-at-home carer. For carers there is no such thing as holidays or holiday pay, weekends off or financial bonuses. Caring often triggers off depression, burn-out and constant exhaustion. Carers save the government billions of dollars. The government should be looking after carers, not ignoring them. They are our unsung heros.



Re: What Do Carers Want

Re: What Do Carers Want

Thanks @morningstar - This document is really great at showing the impact on the individual how the changes are relevant to us. With all the information about the Budget floating around at the moment, it's hard to get carer related information in one place.


Thank you!

Re: What Do Carers Want

Unfortuneately it is not only within the community, but within the health profession as well. As a registered nurse and a carer for my daughter, I would like to see more funding for education for the health professional that also deal with people who have mental health illnesses. my daughter is often admitted to the small country hospital that I work in is a very complex case of BPD, with several attempts and severe self harming. The majority of my collegues are great, but there are stil the few that comment to me that "she sholud'nt be here, she is not sick!". My answer to them is always, just because she doesn't have a disease or illness that you can test or measure with tests or xrays etc does not mean she is not sick. there are also not enough facilities to care for them when they are in desperate need of it. My daughter is lucky that she comes under our private health insurance, but in saying tht, I have yet to find a private mental health hospital that can provide the care that she needs at times. It always ends up with her being sen home within a short amount of time because of her behaiour (well she does have BPD) and we are left to try and cope with it all over again. the goverment should also fund some more respite and support groups. this is coming form one very burnt out carer!

Re: What Do Carers Want

- A change to the Mental Health Care Act to shift the disproportionate amount of rights/freedom that the individual has (even when it is to their detriment)

- Put an end to the appalling revolving door treatment of only being able to treat/schedule patients in hospital until they're "just well enough" and send them on their way, knowing full well they will be back in a few weeks once another incident takes place

- Funds directed not just into raising community awareness but to improving the attitudes & culture of the Dr's / Nurses / staff servicing the psych hospitals. Let's be clear, you're not doing me a favour by doing this job, you're providing a service, and a rather poor one at that. You chose your job, and all the joys and pitfalls that come with it. Do it well. 

- Need better policies / services that can handle all of the issues that tend to go hand in hand with acute cases (e.g., drug addiction, homelessness, treatment). Can't treat the psychosis because it's a drug issue, but the rehab place can't take a mentally ill patient that has pyshcosis but takes drugs... and so it goes.. 

- An increase in the number of (psych) hospital beds 

- Social workers... compassion is useless without effective action

Re: What Do Carers Want

Couldn't agree more. The revolving door is prevalent all over the country. Imagine if it existed with cancer patients or people recovering from operations etc. I don't think we have much hope of any improvement with the way the current budget is being played out.


Re: What Do Carers Want


I stumbled upon this article today about the Victorian Mental Health Reform that will supposedly move the state’s services 'from the back of the human rights bus to a leader in individually-empowering patient care'.

What are your thoughts??




Re: What Do Carers Want

i agree with Jo on all of the points she has raised.  housing is vital, it is not an option for mentally ill to sleep rough.  we dont expect physically ill people  or the aged to sleep in a park no shelter no warmth no food.  just because a mentally ill person who has damaged family relationships can no longer remain living with the family (or all may perish) it is not good enough that there is nowhere to go.  we make money available for olympic games, refugees, football stadiums, wars  and expensive crisis accommodation in motels for homeless families.  you cannot tell me money cannot be found for housing for the mentally ill  who may need support from a carer,  but can be better supported away from home.  My second point is I have been languishing for  the last 2 years and have seen GPs, psychiatrists and psychologists both in the public and private system.  Not once has anyone offerred me any assistance sheet with phone nos listed as to where i can go for help for myself or my patient, in order to remain mentally well myself or help my patient .   no lay person is equipped to deal with mental ill health so i cant believe no one thinks of the person who is holding them afloat and saving the government buckets of money.  as soon as anyone mentions mental ill health to a GP the Go To fact sheet with tel nos should be handed to them so they have a list of resource people to help them.  they will need it.  most psychiatrists know that the mental health of the patient is sometimes not as impossible to live with as the anger or the sleeplessness that accompanies the condition.  the carer needs to know where to go for help with all of these issues.




Re: What Do Carers Want

Yes, yes, yes Sometimes I feel like I'm being punished for looking after my 39 Hayward so with schizophrenia who lives with me. His father had a new family and only sees his son a few times a year and has never recognised what I do or provided money, because my son is an adult.
I couldn't get help for my son for years and u had to watch him getting worse until he hit rock bottom and even after his diagnosis doctors seem to not really listen to me. I work part time and live earn a minimal wage. I was receiving the Carer Allowance, but recently he needed a review (and he had a new doctor who had only met him once who filled out the medical form) and now Centrelink has cut me off completely including my concession card so I now pay $25 instead of $5 for my own medicine etc etc
I think your idea of a lust of services and good GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists, organisations like ARAFME etc. it took me ages to get my son a case worker that would come to the house in the days when he wouldn't go out.
Anyway, sorry for my rave, but years of this stuff has worn me out and yes, I get angry and jealous of friends who are 'free' I just posted a message on the wednesday welcome thread about how loving and generous my son is now . . So I need to remember the positives, but.. It's almost like I'm a piece of elastic that has been stretched to the limit and now can't spring back to its own shape. My younger son is now suffering from depression and anxiety (never leaves the house - but not psychotic) so I'm starting again trying to get help for him. He has to ask for help first.

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