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Caring for family carers

WITH approximately 2.6 million carers in Australia, many Tasmanians will at some point find themselves in a position of caring for a family member with a mental condition.

As part of mental health week, and to provide invaluable support for these individuals, the Hobart Clinic Association recently launched its brand new carer support program on Tuesday 6 October.

The program aims to provide carers with the tools to better advocate for themselves and their family member, as well as have the opportunity to meet with other carers in similar situations.

Chief executive officer Amanda Quealy said the new group would be open to any health carers living on the Eastern Shore and was part of the clinic’s new strategy to reach out to the local community.

“Carers come from all walks of life and across the age spectrum, so it is important to recognise not only their contribution but also their needs,” she said.

“They play such a significant role in the lives of people with mental illness and our new group program will provide the tools to keep caring and most importantly, to ensure they look after themselves.

“If anyone believes we can be of help, then I invite him or her to come along.”

Covering education on illness, treatments and recovery, the carer support program will also focus on how carers can look after themselves.

“As a private not-for-profit service, we don’t recognise any government funding and health funds are very specific about what they won’t pay for,” Ms Quealy said.

“We know carers have significant needs in their own right and we want to support them, as well as encourage greater input into the services we deliver.”

Psychologist and program coordinator Maureen Eadie will be leading the sessions once a month, with invited guest speakers adding to the information available to family carers.

For further information, phone 6247 9960 or email Maureen Eadie at meadie@thehobartclinic.com.au.