A practical guide for working with carers of people with a mental illness

“Recovery-oriented practice and service delivery recognises the unique role of personal and family relationships in promoting wellbeing, providing care, and fostering recovery across the life span, and recognises the needs of families and support givers themselves.”

This Guide recognises carers are a crucial component of any partnership approach to service delivery. It has been developed to assist staff across service settings in Australia in recognition and support of carers, to enable them to continue in their role as partners in recovery.

The Guide addresses a need identified early in the work of the National Mental Health Commission in its report A Contributing Life: the 2013 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention and more recently in its 2014 National Review of Mental Health Programmes and Services – Contributing Lives, Thriving Communities.

The 2013, Report Card made a Recommendation that a practical guide for the inclusion of families and support people in services must be developed and implemented, and this must include consideration of the services and supports that they need to be sustained in their role. The 2014 Review confirmed this need which highlighted Australia’s complex mental health system and a need to empower and support people with lived experience, their families and other support people to be involved in decision making and policy development.

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