Albert Road Clinic
Part of Ramsay Health Care

Caring for a loved one with a mental illness

Mental illness affects around 20 per cent of Australians at some stage of their lives; hence there are many people in a similar situation to you, your family and your friends. Caring for a loved with a mental illness may be daunting; however it can also be an extremely rewarding role.

The term carer here is used to refer to the primary support person for someone with a mental illness. A carer can be a loved one’s wife, husband, partner, child, parent, neighbour or friend. Carers are people who invest time, energy and support, generally in an unpaid capacity. In culturally diverse communities, responsibility for the provision of care may involve the entire community.

At Albert Road Clinic a patient's primary carer is most often someone they feel:

  • They can rely on
  • Worry about them most
  • Help them the most
  • Do odd jobs to assist them in their day to day life
  • Comfortable asking for help

Be sure to request or download an Albert Road Clinic Carer’s Guide

As a carer you have the right:

  • To be recognised as a carer
  • To visit during visiting hours or as otherwise arranged
  • To information:
    • Information of personal nature can only be shared with the consent of your loved one
    • Information of a general nature that can be shared in non-personal and may include factual information to assist and better understanding mental illness and treatment
  • To know how to contact us
  • To ask questions
  • To have policies and practices explained
  • To ask for assistance to source support services
  • To be fully engaged in your loved one’s care
  • Develop a practical, positive attitude is always a good place to start
  • Develop a sense of balance
  • Not be afraid to ask questions about the illness, treatments and services
  • Maintain good health
  • Making a written agreement with your loved one (e.g. a Wellness Plan)

Al-Anon Family Groups Australia: 1300 ALANON (1300 252 666), www.al-anon.org.au

Albert Road Clinic: Family/Carers Group (Addictions Service)

Albert Road Clinic: Parents Group (Adolescent Service)

Albert Road Clinic: Siblings Group (Adolescent Service)

Alcohol and Drug Foundation: Drug Info Line 1300 858 584, www.adf.org.au

Anglicare: www.anglicare.asn.au

Anxiety Recovery Centre: OCD & Anxiety HelpLine 1300 269 438 or (03) 9830 0533, www.arcvic.org.au

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636, www.beyondblue.org.au, www.youthbeyondblue.com

Black Dog Institute: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

Carer Gateway: 1800 422 737, www.carergateway.gov.au

Carers Australia: 1800 242 636, www.carersvictoria.org.au

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI): www.copmi.net.au

Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centres: 1800 052 222

Community Visitors Program: 1300 309 337, www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

Dementia Australia: National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500, www.fightdementia.org.au

DirectLine: 1800 888 236, www.directline.org.au

Family Drug Help: 1300 660 068, www.familydrughelp.com.au

Family Drug Support Australia: 1300 368 186, www.fds.org.au

Gambler’s Help: 1800 858 858,

Gambler’s Help Youthline: 1800 262 376, www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au

GROW: 1800 558 268, www.grow.org.au

Health Complaints Commissioner: 1300 582 113, www.hcc.vic.gov.au

Ice Advice line: 1800 ICE ADVICE (1800 423 238), www.ice.vic.gov.au

Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, www.kidshelpline.com.au

Lifeline: Crisis Line 13 11 14, www.lifeline.org.au

Local Council: Many local councils have carer’s groups

Mental Health Australia: (02) 6285 3100, www.mhaustralia.org

Mental Health Complaints Commissioner: 1800 246 054, www.mhcc.vic.gov.au

Mental Health in Multicultural Australia: (02) 6285 3100, www.mhima.org.au

Mental Illness Fellowship Australia: 1800 985 944, www.mifa.org.au

Mind Australia: Carer Helpline: 1300 554 660, www.mindaustralia.org.au

National Eating Disorders Collaboration: 1800 33 4673, www.nedc.com.au

NEAMI National: (03) 8691 5300, www.neaminational.org.au

Office of the Chief Psychiatrist Victoria: 1300 767 299, www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/key-staff/chief-psychiatrist

Office of the Public Advocate: 1300 309 337, www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au

Orygen Youth Health: www.oyh.org.au

PANDA Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia: 1300 726 306, www.panda.org.au

Parentline Victoria: 13 22 89

Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia): www.pmhccn.com.au

QLife: 1800 184 527, www.qlife.org.au

Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277, www.relationships.com.au

Respite Victoria: 1800 052 222, www.carersouth.org.au/support-when-you-care-for/caring-for-a-person-with-a-disability/respite-victoria/

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP): 1800 337 448, www.ranzcp.org

SANE Australia: 1800 187 263, www.sane.org

State Trustees: (03) 9667 6444, www.statetrustees.com.au

Tandem: (03) 8803 5555, www.tandemcarers.org.au

The Compassionate Friends Victoria: 24 hour grief support (03) 9888 4944 or Freecall 1800 641 091 (Country Victoria and Tasmania only), www.compassionatefriendsvictoria.org.au

The Schizophrenia Fellowship of Australia: (02) 9368 0600, www.schizophrenia.org.au

Victoria Legal Aid: 1300 792 387, www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council: (03) 9380 3900, www.vmiac.org.au

Wellways: 1300 111 400, www.wellways.org

WIRE Women’s Support Line: 1300 134 130, www.wire.org.au

Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee

Albert Road Clinic is seeking to fill vacancies on its Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee (CCAC).

The CCAC includes consumer and carer representatives who advise the Executive on how to improve and promote participation by consumers and carers in the planning, delivery and evaluation of its care.

The Position:

In order to ensure that our CCAC represents Albert Road Clinic’s diverse community of consumers and carers, we are seeking volunteer carer representatives who –

  • Are able to reflect the needs and interests of a broad range of carers.
  • Are interested in working collaboratively with other CCAC members and Albert Road Clinic staff and managers to improve the quality and accessibility of services.

CCAC members are appointed as individuals, rather than as representatives of organisations or health care professionals. Appointments are for three years.

Committee Meetings:

The CCAC meets during business hours every two months at the Albert Road Clinic, 31 Albert Road, Melbourne. Attendance for additional requirements of the role, either on site or via email, is on average 1.5 hours per month.

More information on Albert Road Clinic is available at www.albertroadclinic.com.au

Consumer and Carer Advisory Committee
Enquires: Tina Ottowa-Rene
Executive Assistant
Albert Road Clinic, 31 Albert Road
MELBOURNE VIC 3004
Telephone: (03) 9256 8380
OttowaReneT@ramsayhealth.com.au

Carer’s Guide