Organisation Submission – The Kirribilli Centre
I am a service provider delivering carer services
The Kirribilli Centre
The Kirribilli Centre has been providing a respite program for people caring for someone with a mental illness for the last 8 years which provided intake, education, peer support, exercise, counselling and information provision. These were the key components of the program. The program was funded through DSS.
The program was activity based, tailored to meet individuals needs as it was providing opportunities for mutual support in a structured environment. A vital component of the program has been activities, including outings, information sessions, lunches, breakfast meetings. The value of such activities has been to provide a much needed distraction from the pressures of the caring role. The evaluation of the program has shown extremely high levels of satisfaction with the program.
Examples of positive comments are “the program breaks down isolation”, “I think it helped me understand how to tolerate my distress in chaotic situations and to understand to accept situations that are very stressful. It also helped that other people have difficult situations and see how they are aiming to cope.”
The program has been instrumental in reducing carer anxiety and depression.
We are concerned that this program will not exist without ongoing funding and that there is a gap in the new model in this regard especially in regard to localised services.
The program has also supported carers who have lost their caring role through bereavement. We have noticed that in the model there is not a graduating carer support provision where a carer has lost their caring role.