This report outlines the difficulties and concerns of Australians caring for someone with a mental illness and is Australia's first ever comprehensive national survey of mental health carers.
More than 1,500 mental health carers from across the nation came together in small groups from Broome to Bega, and from Cairns to Carnarvon. The carers attended workshops delivered by the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) in partnership with local organisations where they talked about the issues and concerns they faced as carers of those with a mental illness. The MHCA visited 116 locations throughout Australia with two thirds being rural or remote. Many mental health carers are older people, but the workshops also engaged specifically with young carers, some as young as nine years old.
The MHCA has built a national network of mental health carers and will be striving to ensure that this survey is just the first in an ongoing series designed to ensure the voice of mental health carers is heard loudly and clearly.
This survey reveals the key issues identified by mental health carers, which are all based directly on stories,experiences and ideas from the carers who attended the workshops.