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“I had no idea how helpful the family and carer support would be along my journey of being a carer. The support groups, education and time out just held me in what was a very difficult time. It took me a while to realise that I also needed support to keep going. I’m so glad I eventually linked into family and carer support.” Jane – Carer.
Families and carers play an important role in supporting someone living with a mental health or drug or alcohol concern.
Our Information Guide for Families and Carers provides information about accessing our Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol services, and family and carer support, websites, and helplines.
- Family and Carer Mental Health Program (FCMHP) – The FCMHP provides support options to people caring for someone with a mental illness including advocacy, education, information, and social supports. If you live in Western NSW and would like support or information please contact the Family and Carer Mental Health Program on 1800 067 067 Mon – Friday 9am -4.30pm. The Family and Carer Mental Health Program is a state-wide program. If you live in another area visit the NSW Health website to find your local support service.
- Carer Gateway – The Carer Gateway provides practical information, and support for carers. Some of the support the Carer Gateway provides includes phone counselling, carer support groups, self-guided coaching and respite. The Carer Gateway offers information and support for carers both online and by phone. Carers can call 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8am – 6pm or go to the Carer Gateway website.
- Young Carers – Young carers are children and young people, 25 years or under. The Carers NSW Young Carers Program aims to make a positive difference to young carers and their families through emotional support, referrals and information. For more information phone 02 9280 4744 or visit the Carers NSW Young Carers Program webpage.
- Family Drug Support – Provides 24 hours 7 days a week support, resources and information for families and friends of drug or alcohol users including drug fact sheets, videos and links to support groups. Call 1300 368 186 or go to the Family Drug Support website.
- Alcohol & Drug Info Service (ADIS) – Provides information, counselling, advice and a referral services. Available 24 hours 7 days phone 1800 250 015 for more information.
- Perinatal Infant Mental Health (PIMHS) carer support: A guide for dads – Provides information for all new parents and carers who are coping with perinatal mental illness. There is lots of helpful information such as hearing other dads’ stories, supporting yourself, how to support your partner and who you can call to get help.
- Eating Disorders InsideOut – Provides information to support people with eating disorders and those who care for them.
- Disability Advocacy NSW – Disability Advocacy NSW can provide short to medium term, non-legal, issue-based advocacy support to people with disability, their family and carers who have serious and urgent issues. Call for information and advice 1300 365 085.
Support groups give you the opportunity to connect with other people who may have had similar experiences to you. Sharing your experiences with others can help you understand more about your own situation and may provide you with ideas and resources.
Face to Face Carer Support Groups
- Mental Health Carer Support Groups: The Family and Carer Mental Health Program holds monthly support groups in Bathurst, Dubbo, Cowra, Mudgee and Orange. For more information phone 1800 067 067 Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm
- Dubbo Koori Wellbeing Support Group: Held the 3rd Thursday of the month for all Aboriginal people. For more information contact Craig or Debbie on 0417 271 002 or 6809 6250 Mon –Friday 9am -4.30pm at the Dubbo Diabetes Unit Dubbo Base Hospital
- Synapse (Australia’s Brain Injury Organisation): Supports people with an acquired brain injury and their family and carers. Synapse hold an evening group over zoom on the 3rd Tuesday of the Month. For more information phone 1800 637 074 Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm.
- Carer Peer Support Groups: Held by the Carer Gateway and facilitated by Peer Workers. Peer Workers are someone with a lived experience of caring. The groups are held in Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange, and Warren for more information contact the Carer Gateway 1800 422 737
Online Carer Support Groups
- Carer Gateway Community Forums: Hosts online carer support forums where people can join and connect with other carers.
- SANE AUSTRALIA Peer Support Forums: Connect with the SANE AUSTRALIA’s family, friends and carers forum
- Butterfly: Provides eating disorder support groups to those impacted by eating disorders and their family, friends and carers.
Education and training can provide knowledge and skills to improve your wellbeing, and support your caring role.
Our staff are now providing monthly education sessions for families and carers. To find our more about the sessions and when they are happening, download the Carer Education Calendar.
- Mental Health Carers NSW – Provides online education sessions that have been co-designed with people who have a lived experience of caring. The sessions aim to build carers capacity and knowledge of the mental health system.
- The Carer Gateway – There are carer skills courses that take approximately 20-40 minutes each session. Topics include dealing with stress, effective communication techniques, recharge and reconnect, legal issues, social connections and sleep.
- Carers NSW – Provides a variety of education, information and events for carers living in NSW. Click on the link to find a session that you’re interested in.
- Dementia Australia – Provides online education sessions designed for people caring or supporting someone living with dementia.
- Eating Disorders Families Australia – Delivers bi-monthly education and information webinars with each hosted by a clinical or lived experience expert in the Eating Disorder field.
- InsideOut – Institute for Eating Disorders – provides SupportED: Online Self-Help Program for Carers of People with an Eating Disorder. They provide information videos and resources to explain eating disorders, how to seek help and how to support someone with an eating disorder.
- Headspace – Hosts online mental health education for parents, carers and community members, on ways to support their young person when they are concerned about their mental health. The education is facilitated by the different Headspace centres across NSW, you do not have to live in that area to attend.
Social Futures partners with the NDIS to support people with a disability, their carers and their families.
Local Area Coordinators (LAC) help people to understand and access the NDIS, and link people to support and services in their local area.
Call 1800 522 679 or visit the Social Futures website.
Family and carer rooms are available to use when you are visiting a family member or friend. Please ask staff how you can access the rooms.
- Dubbo: Gundaymarra Adult Acute Unit and Barraminya Sub Acute Unit
- Bathurst: Panorama Sub Acute Unit
- Orange: Adult Acute Unit Lachlan Building and Macquarie Unit.
- Mental Health – SANE Australia provides information on mental illness and disorders, click on the below link to access fact sheets and information.
- Drug and Alcohol – The Alcohol and Drug Foundation provides fact sheets, resources and programs to help prevent alcohol and other drug harm in Australian communities.
- Medications and treatments – Sydney Local Health District provides information and printable leaflets on mental health treatments, conditions and medication.
The Mental Health Act (2007)
The NSW Mental Health Act (2007) is legislation that governs the way care and treatment is provided to people who experience a mental illness. It aims to protect the rights of people with a mental illness while ensuring they have access to appropriate care. Carers also have rights under the Act, Mental Health Carers NSW webpage provides carers with information on their rights, brochures and a link to the full Mental Health Act 2007. Find out more about the Mental Health Act.
Legal Support Services
- Legal Aid NSW – Provides free advice to assist with court matters and tribunals across NSW call 1300 888 529 or visit the Legal Aid NSW website.
- Women’s Legal Service NSW – A community legal centre providing women in NSW with a range of free legal services and advice. For more information call 1800 801 501 or visit the Women’s Legal Service NSW website.