It is not only patients who need support when they are suffering a mental health issue, their carers also need tools to help them manage the pressures of their loved ones illness, says South Coast Private Hospital psychologist Merrylord Harb- Azar.
In response to this need the hospital has developed a personalised six point carer support program to help families better cope with a loved one’s illness.
Ms Harb-Azar helped set up and implement the program and is further developing and evaluating its success.
“We started consulting with the Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) Illawarra, an organisation that supports carers.
“Through these consultations we discovered carers also required their own support and advocacy. We investigated how the carer can respectfully support the patient’s changes and provide them with new coping skills.
“Some of the feedback we received from the consultations included ‘I wish there was a direct line to a carer liaison officer’, ‘ways to deal with difficult situations’, and ‘helping me understand what my partner is going through’,” said Ms Harb-Azar.
Read full article here; http://phnews.org.au/providing-support-for-carers-in-the-illawarra/