One in five Australians have been affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives.
During Mental Health Week in October 2017, the focus was on discussion and debate surrounding diagnosis, management and treatment of mental health issues in our community. But there are also the unsung heroes, the carers of people affected by mental health complications, who should not be overlooked.
“People may not realise that there are young children looking after an unwell parent; or a husband who has given up his job to care for his wife suffering trauma; or an elderly parent caring for their grown-up son who is in the depths of depression and self-harm,” said HelpingMinds Chief Executive, Debbie Childs.
“It’s a full-time, mentally- and emotionally-demanding job, and every situation is unique. Sometimes, carers are not aware that they have, by default, become a carer. It’s our job to help them identify this, and provide them with the support they need so they don’t feel isolated and overwhelmed, or become affected by a mental illness themselves,” Debbie said.
HelpingMinds is an organisation that supports children, young people, adults and families across Perth and regional Western Australia who are affected by mental illness.
It has put together a number of short films, Our stories, explaining how mental health conditions have affected individuals and their families. The stories, which were recorded in Broome, Carnarvon and Perth, capture the real emotion that comes from having a mental illness affect you or someone you love.
The videos aim to reduce the stigma around mental health and to show that people affected by mental health and their carers are not alone and that is support is available. They highlight that many carers don't even recognise that they are carers and show that mental health affects everyone in a family.
The link to Our stories can be found at https://helpingminds.org.au/how-we-help/mental-health-real-stories/
Need to talk to someone? If you need immediate assistance, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression, contact beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.