The Family and Carer Mental Health Program is funded by the NSW Government to deliver family-friendly mental health services across NSW.
Services and support for families and carers are structured and delivered in New South Wales through a partnership approach that includes:
- Collaborative partnerships in supporting and providing mental health care between consumers, carers, and practitioners
- Partnering with Local Health Districts, the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, and Community Managed Organisations
- Partnering with consumers, carers, and services in improving care standards
The program aims to improve the wellbeing and health outcomes of families and carers and the people they support.
This ensures that:
- families and carers are included, where possible and appropriate, in the mental health care and recovery goals of the people they support
- families and carers have options for support and receive the support they need at the time they need it
- families and carers and have access to appropriate information in a medium that they can understand
- information and support are provided in an evidence-based, trauma-informed, culturally relevant, and responsive, and cost-effective manner
- families and carers are included as partners in the planning, development, and evaluation of services.
The program is delivered by a partnership between Local Health Districts, the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, and five community managed organisations:
- Stride (formerly Aftercare)
- CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes
- Mission Australia
- One Door Mental Health
- offering education and training packages that teach families and carers about mental illness and its management, including how to help build coping skills and resilience
- providing information, resources, one-on-one support, advocacy and coordinating support groups
- supporting families and carers with additional needs and cultural diversity
- providing clinical services and delivering health promotion activities
The program also supports clinicians and health professionals to:
- consider the family and carer network or system throughout the consumer journey
- support consumers to involve their families and carers in the most appropriate way for both the consumer and the family and carer
- provide general information to families and carers, such as about how the mental health system works, and fact sheets about different mental illnesses and treatments
- recognise family and carer needs, and provide information and/or referrals to help them access support, information, education, and advocacy
- recognise that the needs of families and carers change over time, and to respond to these changes
- recognise their own personal and organisational values and ensure that they operate to the benefit and not to the detriment of families, carers, and consumers.