Last updated: 13.03.12

Carers NSW launches e-learning course for carers of mentally ill people

An Australian healthcare provider has launched an online learning course to assist people looking after individuals with mental illnesses.

Carers New South Wales (NSW) unveiled its Mental Health Foundations for Carers' e-learning tool, which provides resources, information and support to caregivers.

Looking after people with mental health problems can be particularly challenging due to the nature of the condition and the stigma that can be associated with certain illnesses, which can make care providers feel isolated.

However, the e-learning course gives these people practical assistance on how to cope with these problems, such as by providing tips relating to dealing with the healthcare system and useful communication strategies.

Further topics dealt with in the platform include helping carers to look after their own wellbeing and issues they might regularly face.

It also contains interactive sections and video interviews with other professionals in the caring role, who are sharing their own perspectives on the challenges faced when looking after people with mental health problems.

Carers NSW noted being a caregiver can be unpredictable. It can make it difficult for young people to pay attention in class and increase the likelihood of a family suffering from poverty.

However, it can provide a positive impact to a person's life, helping them to develop strong relationships and useful life skills, the organisation continued.

Chief executive officer of Carers NSW Elena Katrakis said the online learning course "sets out some of the issues carers of someone with a mental illness may face and the types of support they may need" in their particular role.

"It is important we acknowledge and support carers of people with mental illness so that they can better maintain their own health and wellbeing and are aware of the supports that are available to them," she added.

Service providers can also find assistance through the e-learning tool, as it will enable them to understand the needs and experiences of carers, the representative stated.