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Supporting Families and Carers

Family and friends play an important role in caring for and supporting people living with mental illness.

There are many people who provide support to someone living with a mental illness and do not think of themselves as a ‘carer’. They do what they do because they care about that person and what happens to them. People often fall into the role of ‘carer’ because it becomes a natural extension of their relationship with the person. [1]

A carer can be a family member, friend, neighbour or other community member who provides care and assistance to another person, often in a regular and sustained manner, without payment other than in some cases a pension or benefit. [2]

The Family & Carer Mental Health Coordinator works with our clinicians to provide guidance and assistance to ensure positive outcomes are achieved for families and carers across the FWLHD.

The Coordinator can work with you to support you during your journey within our MHDA services and health system. This can include navigating our services and systems; providing illness specific information; carers rights; support; and advocacy.  Families and carers may require short term interventions from our service, followed with referrals to appropriate services for ongoing needs.

The Coordinator also works with the MHDA teams and Health District staff across the Far West to improve professional and service responsiveness to the needs and circumstances of family and carers. Families and carers must be recognised, supported and included in treatment planning and service provision.

We have a partnership with CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes to work together to deliver the Family & Carer Mental Health Program (F&CMHP).  CentaCare can provide emotional and practical support, advocacy, education and self care.

At FWLHD we have a focus on carer wellbeing and work with other carer support services such as CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes and the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre to deliver optimum outcomes for families and carers.

There are a number of family and carer activities held each month across the Local Health District. These are provided free of charge to anyone registered with us to receive family and carer supports. These are available via a MONTHLY CALENDAR.

If you would like to receive this calendar by mail or email please contact: FWLHD-DistrictMHDA@health.nsw.gov.au or 8080 1525.

If you would like any more information or support to access services for your loved one within Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Service, Far West Local Health District please contact:

Family and Carer Mental Health Coordinator by phone on 8080 1525 / 0428 965 310 or by email: FWLHD-DistrictMHDA@health.nsw.gov.au


[1] Uncharted Waters, Second Edition 2009, Northern Sydney Central Coast Mental Health Drug & Alcohol Service, NSW Health

[2] NSW Carers Action Plan 2007 – 2012


Intangible Storytelling Project

The Intangible Storytelling Project shares the journey of carers, supporting someone they love living with mental illness, from the Far West of NSW. CLICK HERE to learn more and see videos from the Intangible DVD.