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About the TMHC Carers' Program

For further information about our support program for carers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD) click on the links below;


 

Overview

This program has been in operation since 2002 and is funded by the NSW Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office as part of the NSW Caring for Carers Mental Health Program.

Program Background

The Carer Support Program was established to provide support and information to carers from CALD communities who look after a family member or friend with a mental health problem.

Between June 2002 and August 2003, the program successfully piloted the Bilingual Community Education (BCE) Program. This involved recruiting and training a pool of Bilingual Group Leaders (BGLs) to establish and facilitate language-specific support groups for CALD carers who live in Sydney.

To date, more than twenty language-specific carer support groups have been established and conducted across the Sydney metropolitan area and Wollongong. Over three hundred carers have participated in the support program sessions.

In its attempt to reduce the prejudice and stigma associated with mental illness, the program has also implemented a number of communication strategies to raise awareness in the targeted communities. These include community education seminars, mental health segments on ethnic radio and newspaper articles.

A full report about the pilot program has been submitted to the Centre for Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol and distributed to relevant government and non-government agencies. The program has been given recurrent funding to continue its valuable work.                                                                   

Aim of the program

The aim of the program is to improve the health and well being of carers from CALD backgrounds who look after someone with a mental illness. This is achieved through the provision of support groups and other support services provided by THMC. In addition, the program encourages and promotes access to community health and non-health services for carers and their families.

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Objectives of the program are to:

  • Continue providing appropriate support to carers from CALD communities through the existing carer support groups, as well as establishing new ones to meet the needs of new emerging carers

  • Recruit, train and contract an additional pool of BGLs to meet the demands for group work across Sydney, and to implement other communication strategies on mental health, mental illness and the needs of carers and their families

  • Provide support, supervision and coordination to BGLs in delivering their work programs to carers and people in their ethnic communities

  • Encourage carers and consumer participation and representation in training courses, workshops and conferences

  • Develop networks for CALD carers and supportive environments for carers beyond their attendance in the support groups

  • Build collaborative partnerships with existing local and state mental health services and other family and carer initiatives to enhance carers' access to services, support and information

  • Ensure that carers from CALD communities' needs are known and addressed by TMHC staff and management, The NSW Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Office and other government and non-government organisations. 

Target groups

  • People who are caring for family members or friends with a mental health problem
  • 10 targeted CALD communities across NSW. These include the Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Farsi, Greek, Korean, Khmer, Maltese, Spanish and Turkish speaking communities
  • Key relevant government and non-government organisations

For further information

Ramy Var
Support Program Officer for Carers of CALD Backgrounds
Email: Ramy Var   

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 Last Updated 30 Jan 2014

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