Media Release by Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion

Workshops to help understand mental health carers

A series of Australian Government funded workshops will be held in communities across the country to gain a vital insight into the experiences and needs of carers.

To coincide with Mental Health Week, the Minister for Community Services, Senator Nigel Scullion, today announced $600 000 over two years for the Mental Health Council of Australia to deliver Carers Engagement Workshops across Australia.

‘Carers are indispensable in the on-going care and recovery of mental health sufferers. The workshops are designed to gain a greater understanding of the unique role of mental health carers and how to better service their needs,’ Senator Scullion said.

‘It also provides an opportunity to gather information on mental health carers, as well as raise awareness within the mental health sector and general community about available support services.

‘These workshops form part of the Council of Australian Government’s $45.2 million five year Mental Health Community Based Program, which is providing support to non-government organisations to deliver local community based projects.

‘In addition to these workshops, Mental Health Council of Australia will also develop a national reporting mechanism for family members and carers.

‘The mechanism will gather information on the caring experience and help to identify key issues.

‘The Australian Government will continue to assist carers, both financially and through our many services and initiatives.

‘I look forward to hearing the outcomes of the Carers Workshops,’ Senator Scullion said.

Mental Health Week, Sunday 7 October to Saturday 13 October, aims to increase awareness and knowledge of mental health issues in Australia.

World Mental Health Day, 10 October 2007, aims to raise awareness of the importance of good mental and physical health.