The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) works in partnership with the Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland and Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres to support and improve the lives of Australians.
The aim of Mental Health Respite Program is to provide support to carers, family members and individuals by increasing access to respite services that provide flexibility to meet the needs of carers and the person for whom they care.
The goal is to support carers, families and individuals to take a break, with an emphasis on building resilience, rebuilding lives, assisting with recovery and developing the skills to self manage in crisis and the longer term.
To ensure that the Mental Health Respite Program services meet the individual needs of the Carer and the care recipient/consumer, we aim to support, promote and encourage the importance of each individual’s own recovery journey.
The Mental Health Respite Program respects the needs of the Carer and the care recipient/consumer by promoting and supporting optimum choice, regarding their participation, involvement and decision making concerning which services are provided in support of resilience.
Carers eligible to receive respite services under Mental Health Respite Program include:
- Carers of people with severe mental illness/psychiatric disability and
- Carers of people with intellectual disability.
Flexible Respite Options:
There are many flexible respite options and services that can support carers to enable them to take a break from their caring role. Respite can be tailored to meet the individual needs of both the carer and care recipient/consumer including:
A qualified mental health support worker may assist with capacity building strategies to work alongside the person you care for in areas of identified interest that enable you to take timeout from the caring role:
- Recovery Mentoring – building resilience.
- Life Skills Development- rebuilding lives, assisting with recovery and developing the skills to self manage in crisis and the longer term.
- Community Access Linking- support to reconnect and engage socially with various community linking options that may include both formal and informal networks of support.
Benefits – what carers can expect from the mental health respite program:
- Facilitate Carers access to a range of respite options and supports.
- Raises the profile of carers of people with mental illness in the region.
- Supports general mental health services to develop programs sensitive to carers’ experiences and needs.
- Supports carer groups with group development, information, resources and education.
- Promotes the development of carer resources and information relating to caring for a person with mental illness.
- Identifies supports available to assist those with a carer role.
- Identifies gaps in our service systems for carers and developing strategies to address these issues.
- Facilitates networking between carers and workers on specific issues.
- Co-ordinating professional education on carer issues.
Are there any limits to the respite that a carer is eligible to receive?
The amount of respite that a carer is able to access will be based on the carer’s needs. Carers will be assessed using a standard assessment tool to ensure that those in most need of respite receive it at the time they need it. However, the principle underpinning allocation of respite is that it is “short-term”, providing the opportunity for carers to “take time-out” from the direct carer role.
Who are Carers?
A carer can be a family member, parent, partner, friend or neighbour. Carers provide unpaid care for another person who may have a disability or a mental illness or an intellectual disability.
What is Respite?
Respite is a break from the responsibility of looking after someone. It may be for a few hours, a day/night or a few weeks. It can happen in a variety of settings that suit the carer and the person being supported.
Respite Project Officer
Phone: 07 4725 3664