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What is the Mental Health Carer Support Fund?
The Mental Health Carer Support Fund is funded by the Victorian Government and administered by Tandem, for the benefit of people in a caring relationship with a person who is receiving services from one of the Victorian Area Mental Health Services. All applications are made through and are approved by the Area Mental Health Services who forward applications to Tandem for processing.
The Mental Health Carer Support Fund provides funding to assist people in their support role, to promote and sustain the relationship, and improve the wellbeing of families and members of the community performing this role.
Mental Health Carer Support Fund: Information for Carers brochure
Who is eligible?
Family members or friends* who are supporting a person who is receiving services from an Area Mental Health Service (AMHS) are eligible to receive money through the Carer Support Fund. Tandem encourage clinicians, managers and lived experience workforce personnel at Area Mental Health Services to ensure that families and carers are aware of this avenue of support for them in their caring role.
What can the CSF be used for?
- Transport and/or costs associated with visiting the person with a mental illness in hospital or accompanying them to medical appointments as appropriate in your supporting role.
- Carer education programs and conferences that promote knowledge and understanding of mental illness and the mental health system; and to support carer resilience, self-care and wellbeing.
- Respite. Opportunities for the carer to have a break from the caring role.
- Educational expenses. Opportunities for the carer to pursue vocational opportunities through short-term educational activities.
- Counselling. Short term counselling, provided by a practitioner outside the mental health service, to address the emotional and relationship impacts of caring for someone with a mental illness.
- Reimbursement of costs (that cannot be claimed through other Department of Health concessions or other funding sources for carers) incurred by the carer on behalf of the person for whom they care.
- Wellbeing activities for carers, individually or in groups, to access opportunities such as yoga, meditation, sporting activities, art, music or other recreational activities to support their personal wellbeing.
- The Fund may be used to support activity for a group of carers such as attendance at a conference or sporting event.
Funds will not be provided for services that are the responsibility of the Area Mental Health Service.
Who can carers talk to about getting assistance?
You can get more information from Area Mental Health Services staff including case managers, carer peer support workers, carer consultants and other family support workers. You will be asked some questions to determine the best way to assist you in your caring role. It is important to note that funds are limited. Applications are assessed and approved on an individual basis by your AMHS.
How do carers apply for the CSF?
All applications are made through Area Mental Health Services. Please contact your local AMHS to apply.
Mental Health Carer Support Fund Guidelines 2020
Mental Health Carer Support Fund application form (please note: this form is only for Area Mental Health Services staff use, if you are a carer please contact your local AMHS to apply).