Celebrating carers in our community

A Million Reasons to Care is this year’s theme for National Carers Week, which runs from 16-22 October. A carer is someone who provides support to a person or people with complex issues such as ill mental health, chronic health conditions, terminal illness, disability or frailty due to age. It is estimated that there are 2.65 million people around Australia who care for a family member or friend, many of whom are in the veteran community, so there really is a million (and more!) reasons to care.

This week is an ideal time to draw your attention to the support that carers in the veteran community can access. Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling can help assist eligible clients (veterans and immediate family members) to develop practical skills to support your own mental health and wellbeing, provide access to free and confidential counselling, free mental health training, and connect you with a family peer worker who has shared lived experience as a carer. Visit the Open Arms website for more information, or check out the free resources available to all carers in the community.

DVA can provide support for carers through our Respite Care program, where we can arrange for another carer to temporarily take over your duties to give you a break. Visit the DVA website for more information, or to check if you are eligible.

Additionally, the Department of Social Services (DSS) provides support for those who provide informal care and support for a family member or friend. You may be eligible for financial support or allowances, or able to attend one of their programs. Visit the DSS website for further details.

Nearly 11 per cent of the population provides care that sometimes goes unnoticed, so this National Carers Week be sure to reach out to any carers that you know, and express your thanks for their work.

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