Community organisations across Australia can apply for Australian Government funding to provide support services for carers of people with mental illness to assist them to maintain their caring roles and improve their own wellbeing.
The 2011–12 Budget allocated an additional $54.3 million over the five years from 2011–12 to 2015–16 for new or expanded Mental Health Respite: Carer Support (MHR:CS) services to assist carers of people with mental illness. It is anticipated the rollout of new services will occur in February, June and August 2013.
This round of funding will assist up to an additional 1,000 carers and families of people with mental illness by providing greater access to a broad range of supports.
Successful service providers will be required to provide carer-centred, flexible and innovative carer support services to meet the needs of carers of people with mental illness, along with their families. The providers would be expected to develop care plans in collaboration with carers, to provide a continuum of support for carers and their families, involving a range of assistance to suit their individual circumstances.
New or expanded MHR:CS services will focus on improving access to a broader range of carer support options that account for the episodic nature of mental illness and the need for carer support services that respond to changing circumstances.
New services will be expected to deliver services ranging from a break for carers, social and recreational activities, counselling, education, advocacy and referral, education for families and community about mental illness and its impacts.