Membership

Why join Mental Health Carers Australia?

Mental Health Carers Australia is the only national advocacy organisation solely concerned with the well being and promotion of mental health carers and has been around since before 1998. 

Mental Health Carers Australia 

  • has the best reach to mental health carers.
  • is the best informed national entity on mental health carers.
  • is built on the grassroots Arafmi legacy and directed by the lived experience of mental health carers
  • is leading the implementation of A Practical Guide to Working with Carers of People with a Mental Illness
  • is driving a major national mental health carer advocacy campaign.
  • has significant expertise in family centred practice, indigenous and remote mental health and carer support and engagement.
  • provides opportunities for collaboration and joint ventures with other members, partners and affiliates

 

 

Why a national mental health carers peak?

International research has established that most people with mental illness experience better health outcomes when they are supported by family and/or informal carers. A strong, consistent and unified voice advocating for mental health carers will have greater impact and influence than a fragmented approach.

Keeping up to date with the torrent of state, territory and national issues and events in the mental health sector can be difficult and expensive for individual organisation.  The collective approach of a peak generates expert information, advice and capacity using a shared resource.  This allows organisations to either participate in national debate and initiatives that they otherwise would not have been able to or to redirect resources to other priorities.  

The “think tank” approach to collective analysis and decision making facilitates a synergy of ideas, expertise and knowledge, resulting in stronger and more authoritative arguments and influence.

Full Membership

MHCA is comprised of 11 full member positions, one representing each of the states and territories and three representing national organisations.

There are currently vacancies for representative organisations from South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and 2 national positions.

Full membership provides:

  • A place on the MHCA board
  • Signatory and badging to national submissions and campaigns
  • Access to member only advocacy position papers
  • Access to MHCA grass roots carer voice and national carer information
  • Access to MHCA special interest groups, think tanks and other member forums and the intellectual property that comes out of them.
  • Access to the MHCA national carer helpline
  • Access to MHCA badging
  • Access MHCA member only web content and e-learning modules
  • Access to carer newsletter content
  • Contribute articles and promote events through national newsletter.
  • Access the member update newsletter info from member organisations.
  • Access to MHCA stakeholder list
  • Link from the MHCA web site to your web site
  • Access MHCA member e-list.
  • Opportunity to participate in and access to the intellectual property produced from MHCA projects eg A practical guide to working with Carers of a Person with a Mental Illness demonstration projects and the NDIS Education Module project
  • Access to evidence from other jurisdictions to back up your work

Associate Membership

Associate members have access to most of the benefits of full membership but do not have a seat on the board.

 

Why now?

Now is the right time to ramp up a national mental health carer peak because now is a time of major national reform in the mental health sector (NDIS, PHNs, Integrated Carer Support Model, carer payments).  These reforms are being led by different departments, or parts of departments, meaning there is a lack of big picture view on what the implications are for mental carers and a serious concern that they will not be supported sufficiently to continue in their caring role.  We know that informal mental health carers in Australia contribute $13.2 billion annually, 1.7 times the amount contributed through formal care.  We also know they face mental ill health as a direct consequence of their caring role and experience higher rates of mental ill health than the general population.  If an unintended outcome of the current national reform agenda is reduced support for carers and their capacity to continue in their caring role (which we fear will be the case), the impact on carers, the consumers they care for and the broader mental health sector will be enormous.  Now is the time to be taking action to prevent this from happening.;