Carers identified?

What are my rights as a carer?

Page last updated: 2010

Caring for someone is an important and valuable role in the community, which is often a 24 hour job that can be very demanding and may make you feel very alone. A number of pieces of Carer Recognition Legislation, Mental Health Legislation and the National Standards for Mental Health mandate that you receive appropriate support via way of access to accurate and timely information and referral where appropriate.

The mental health team is committed to working in partnership with you and your family member or friend to provide safe, high quality services.

It is important for us to know if we are listening to you and providing the right information and support to help you – so please let us know what you think, because we really do value your opinion.

Carers can expect the mental health team to:

  • Introduce themselves and advise you of their role in caring for the person who has been admitted to the service
  • Treat you with dignity and respect
  • Explain the level of the information that is able to be shared and the reason for this
  • Reply appropriately to any concerns or queries
  • Provide you with access to interpreters if you need them
  • Keep personal information you give the team about yourself as confidential and respect your privacy
  • Inform you of your right to seek further opinions regarding the diagnosis and care of your family member or friend
  • Inform you that you do not always have to be available to your family member or friend, i.e. you can take time for yourself
  • Inform you of your right to make complaints and how you would go about doing this
  • Inform you that there are information and support programs available for carers and where to go to get this information Top of page
In addition, if your family member or friend who is unwell gives permission, you can expect the mental health team to:
  • Discuss the available treatment options with you
  • Involve you in planning a program of care
  • Involve you in planning for discharge and on–going care
Relationships between people with a mental illness and their family or other carers are not always straight forward. They may also change frequently depending on the nature of the illness, or how unwell the person is. There may also be circumstances where the person is too unwell to give, or refuse, permission for the mental health team to involve you because of their disturbed mental state.

If this is the case you can still expect the mental health team to:

  • Provide you with an assurance that they will check with your family member or friend on a regular basis, the level of information to be shared; and
  • Provide opportunities for you to give the mental health team information you have concerning family relationships and any matters relating to the mental state of your family member or friend to assist with diagnosis and care.