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Families and Carers

Are you looking after a person with mental illness? Find support and services to help you

Carer Consultants are employed by Victorian Mental Health and Wellbeing Services. They provide education & support on services for carers and families of a person experiencing a mental illness.

  • Meet the carer consultant

    Alison Tickner is the Carer Consultant at South West Healthcare Mental Health and Wellbeing Services.  Carer Consultants are employed within Mental Health and Wellbeing Services to represent the interests of carers/family members, advocate for their needs and they also have a personal experience of caring for someone with a mental illness. A lot of people don’t refer to or see themselves as carers but rather as someone doing what needs to be done.  A carer can be a family member, relative or friend who provides unpaid care and support another person who has a disability, mental illness or chronic condition.

    Alison Tickner

    Alison is available to help you understand the mental health system, to listen to your concerns, communicate and assist you with your needs and to help you access support.  I aim to ensure that your rights are recognised, respected and supported in all aspects of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and to promote family and carer wellbeing.

    Our carer consultant understands that caring for a loved one with mental illness can be very stressful and exhausting and how important it is to look after yourself and other family members.  Remember to make time for yourself regularly for this reason I am available to meet with you to discuss your needs and help with access to the Carer Support Fund.

  • Taking care of yourself

    Caring for someone who is ill may make many demands on you and can have consequences for you and the rest of the family. This is perfectly normal.  Looking after your own physical and emotional health is essential. For this reason South West Healthcare Mental Health and Wellbeing Services & the Family, Friends and Carers Committee has put together the Caregiver Wellbeing Screen. You can download and complete the wellbeing screen to keep track of your own needs, or use it to communicate your needs to other people involved in your care or the care of your loved one.

  • Carer support fund

    South West Healthcare Mental Health and Wellbeing Services understands that caring for a relative or friend with a mental illness can present many challenges.  The aim of the Carer Support Fund (CSF) is to support & assist you in your caring role for a person with a mental illness, by providing funding for carer/parent/family member’s needs.  In doing so, the program helps to promote and sustain the caring relationship and improve the wellbeing of carers. All applications are discussed with either the Mental Health clinician or Carer Consultant of South West Healthcare Mental Health and Wellbeing Services.  Applications are made and then forward to the Tandem (representing Victorian Mental Health and Wellbeing carers) for processing.  On receipt of completed applications that meet the guidelines for payment, the funds are distributed as soon as possible.

  • Respite programs

    Respite programs are another option which is available to give family, friends and carers time out to take a break.  Respite can reduce the stress of caring & assist you to look after your own health & wellbeing.

  • Consumer & Carer Advisory Committee (CCAC)

    South West Healthcare Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is committed to the involvement of family, friends and carers of people with a Mental Illness. The CCAC is for carers, family members, friends and consumers. An expression of interest to join the CCAC can be sent to the Carer Consultant/Consumer Consultant or email


Page last updated: 8 November 2022

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