Who Cares For The Carer? – Support available for local Carers

Caring can be overwhelming.


IN our community there are many people who are quietly making very real differences to the lives of others.

They are our carers.

They are literally performing an ultimate act of love, for a partner, a parent, a child or even a close friend, it may be short term or a journey with no end in sight.

They give of themselves, and often this comes at a personal cost.

A cost to relationships, mental health and wellbeing.

Carers NSW tells us that, “Throughout the caring journey, many carers experience a range of emotions including anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, loss and grief.”

They recommend that carers access counselling through the Carer Gateway.

Counselling can assist with dealing with overwhelming and confusing feelings, creating a better understanding of your experiences as a carer, working out your own needs and developing ways to solve problems, learning how to manage conflict, stress and other emotional factors and learning and apply healthy communication boundaries.

Counselling can also assist with building resilience and learning to cope with change, improving mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, coping with grief and loss and learning how to re-build when your caring role ends and identifying support systems and being connected to services.

Carer Counselling is now provided through Carer Gateway by calling 1800 422 737 or visiting www.carergateway.gov.au.

Locally there are opportunities available to support carers.

Local counsellor Katrina Mason told News Of The Area, “Paid or unpaid the common struggle for those in service of others (including those dedicated to environmental conservation) circles around symptoms of emotional and physical fatigue.

“On one hand it ignites dedication and a sense of satisfaction and on the other, it can leave us feeling exhausted, empty and cynical.”

She believes that exhaustion in human service is not a new phenomenon.

It has been called burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and empathy fatigue.

“Learning mindfulness and meditation is a perfect way to start.

“It is known to reduce anxiety and stress whilst improving self-awareness, sleep patterns and general mental health.

In my Sustainability in Service workshops, I recommend basic mindfulness training as a foundational skill before then moving onto techniques which specifically address the effects of empathy fatigue and vicarious trauma.”

Katrina holds Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation courses including one which is about to start at Tomaree Library.

You can find out more at www.being-welness.com or carersnsw.org.au.



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