Carer Assist Programme

CARER ASSIST

Mental illness is a growing epidemic in Australia, affecting one in every five Australians. 62% of people with mental illness receive no assistance at all or depend on informal support from carers and families. Specifically, studies show that Immigrant groups have increasing vulnerability to mental disorders in old age. Not only is there a lack of culturally tailored services for these communities which understand their needs and cultural issues but the South Asians tend to remain avoidant of mental health services due to their pre-conceived apprehensions and social stigma.

Carer Assist is one such organisation that caters for the cultural needs of carers of someone with a mental illness. It is a non profit organisation funded specifically to provide information, education, advocacy and support to carers. It is auspiced to the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Inc, and funded by the NSW Health Department (Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol office).

Carer Assist provides can assist families and friends by:

  • Providing provision of information about mental illness, services and the mental health system to ensure that carers’ needs are met and to assist them to better care for their friend or relative.
  • Providing education to empower carers so that their needs can be met through programs such as Assisting Families and Well Ways.
  • Advocating on behalf of carers to ensure that the carers have access to information and services that they require.
  • Offering emotional support over the telephone, face to face and through support groups.
  • Providing information on caring for self.
  • Assisting with navigation of the mental health system.
  • Sourcing extra support in times of crisis.

Carer Advocates work together with other non-government organisations, Area Health Services, community health organisations and other organisations or groups that are involved in a carer’s life.

Carer Assist also employs multicultural and bilingual Carer Advocates including a Carer Advocate for South Asians speaking some South Asian languages who offer individual information, advocacy and support to families and friends of people with mental illness.  For assistance please call 9750-9744