Carers play a huge and important role in the lives of the individuals they look after. With their help, the elderly, disabled, and sick are able to function and do their daily activities.
While the work of a carer is noble and rewarding in many ways, it is also very challenging. The physical and emotional demands of caring for someone are high, thus the work can take a toll on the carer’s mental health. This is why it’s important that carers also get the support that they need to improve their mental health and overall well-being.
The Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) created and implemented by Australia’s Federal Government is an excellent example of a program that caters to the needs of carers. ICSS is part of the government’s carer services overhaul that aims to introduce various support services that are beneficial to unpaid carers. This plan outlines the importance of early intervention, prevention, and training to build skills for better outcomes and well-being of carers.
To complement the ICSS, here are some of the services that can help improve the mental health of carers:
The emotional and mental status and needs of carers should be properly assessed in order for them to get the proper services. It’s important to determine if they experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Access to Educational Resources and Training
Boost the knowledge and skills of carers by providing them access to educational resources. This includes modules and reading materials related to specific caring situations, as well as training programs to help build their confidence.
Online and Offline Coaching
Through this service, carers can learn about strategies and techniques for future planning and goal setting. This could be in the form of self-guided online modules and facilitated in-person and phone-based coaching.
Digital, Phone-based and In-Person Counselling
Carers can get further information and advice through counselling services delivered online, on the phone, or in person. This service can help carers manage the challenges they face at work every day, reduce stress, and plan for the future.
Peer Support and Networking
It would greatly help carers if they connect with other carers and share their knowledge and experiences. They will be able to do that through peer support and networking. These also give them the opportunity to get emotional support and mentoring from their peers.
To be able to take care of others, carers need to take care of themselves, too. Mental health services are important so carers can stay healthy, perform their care role well, and enjoy life to the fullest.