Eight mental health carers passionate about increasing carer participation, influence and leadership have shared what they’ve learned on their own caring journeys in a series of new written stories.
The ‘Carer pathway stories’ were written by members of the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales’s Carer Lived Experience Steering Group. Established by the Commission in early 2017, the group aims to help other carers discover how they can engage and influence mental health services and systems, and become leaders in the mental health sector.
The stories include details of how the steering group members joined advisory committees and boards, became peer workers, volunteers, and teachers and trainers. They also include insights on how they have learned to manage their caring role alongside life’s other opportunities and demands.
The stories are just one output from the steering group during its six month project. Others include media and advocacy training, and helping the Commission create videos where carers speak directly to key people like psychiatrists and mental health workers about their needs and ideas for better mental health care. The group of eight also conducted a broad survey of mental health carers across NSW to gather everyone’s ideas on how carer participation, influence and leadership can best be enabled.
While the group is supported by the Commission, its focus and activities have been entirely carer-led. The group’s work complements the activities of a Consumer Lived Experience Steering Group that was established in 2016. The work of both groups will feed into the Commission’s bigger project on creating a Lived Experience Framework.
Read the 'Carer pathway stories':
Watch messages from NSW carers: