Support is essential when caring for a family member who is experiencing mental health issues. You must take care of yourself too.
Being a carer is a complex 24/7 commitment. Caring for my daughter Karleena has been my first experience of mental health issues and in the early days, support was essential. The challenges are always changing so it’s reassuring to have the support of friendly, knowledgeable people from Flourish Australia who also assist with NDIS reviews.
Karleena was referred to Flourish Australia’s day 2 day living program at Buckingham House ten years ago. Her day-to-day life is enriched by having a place to go where she can interact with peers and get involved in activities that might otherwise be beyond our means. She particularly enjoys gym sessions to get her going in the morning. Art groups give her a creative outlet while hand spinning and weaving are calming for her.
A familiar environment away from home, Buckingham House is very much Karleena’s own space. I rarely go in myself, so while she’s there I can run errands, keep medical appointments and get along to a charity knitting group. I look forward to library visits and take on different genres to keep my brain active.
It’s imperative I distinguish my caring role from my parental relationship with Karleena and having support helps me to do that. As carer, I play a supporting role in the life of a woman who is her own person with her own goals and dreams. Having gained experience, I no longer access support services for myself but I’m appreciative that Karleena can attend Buckingham House regularly.
I’m also a nan to my son’s three active children. Maintaining the colourful aspects of my life that bring me joy, fuels my energy and resilience to manage the challenges of every day life.
Karleena has grown more resilient too by developing new skills, discovering hobbies and making friendships, in a safe and happy environment.
What more could a carer wish for?
Talk to us today
Our approach to supporting you is different because over half of the people we employ have had their own lived experience of a mental health issue and many of them make up our peer workforce. They get it, because they have been there, so they're able to come alongside you with genuine understanding and insight.
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