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Carer & Family Support Facilitation Service

Organisation:

Care Connect

Project Description:

The Carer and Family Support Facilitation Service will build rapport with carers and families and guide them in the identification of their needs. Carers and families will be assisted through the provision of information and education, coordination of multiple referrals, and navigation of the complex service system.

The initiative will include initial contact with Care Connect to understand whether Care Connect can assist the carer/family, face to face meeting/s to learn about the carer/family circumstances and support networks, an assessment, development, coordination and implementation of a Referral Action Plan to link the carer/family into services that they choose.

In addition the Support Facilitator will utilise a community development approach to engage with the community advocate for the rights of carers/families at a local level, address inequalities and work to bring about social change.

 Project Outcome

The program supported 18 families from September 2015 to March 2016 and 14 were referred by PIR support facilitators and 4 by PIR Carer Consultant.

In addition to the families supported, based on the population data and feedback of the south east catchment and about cultural groups experience with the mental health services, the project team decided to focus on the Afghani and Sri Lankans communities to explore issues they faced as well as an opportunity top learn and share information on existing services.  Between February and May 2016, five group presentations/forums conducted with 88 participants to: Afghani Leaders, Afghani Carers Group, Sri Lankan Elders Welfare, Sri Lankan Leaders and the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network.

Lessons learnt

Carers of people with mental illness are often overwhelmed and not focused on their own health. Giving them a brochure was identified as less effective than offering a call from a carer support facilitator.

The engaging and education for CALD groups on mental health and carer services is a long term project that could not be provided in the time frame of this project. Some of the challenges that became apparent in this program include factors such as stigma, cultural and religious views and general lack of understating about mental illness and the way carers are defined. There is need to further explore other models that are more effective in engaging the CALD community.

For more information about this project, contact SEMPIR here

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