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Carer Counselling

Caring for someone can be very rewarding, but it can also present some challenges. From time to time, you might need to talk to someone who understands your situation.

What is Carer Counselling?

If you care for a person who needs help to look after themself, but are not formally employed in their caring role you can access short-term emotional and psychological counselling and support services that are subsidised by the Australian Government.

You won't need any type of assessment to receive carer counselling.

Carer Counselling services may help you to:

  • reduce stress
  • manage challenging behaviours and situations
  • manage your relationship with the person you are caring for
  • improve your coping skills
  • continue in your caring role for as long as possible.

Services aim to be flexible to meet your needs and may be delivered by phone, at a private clinic or at a state or territory Carer Association. You may also receive counselling in your own home, or via Skype (where available) or email. It's all about what's best for you.

How do I know if Carer Counselling is right for me?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you provide regular and sustained assistance to a dependent family member, partner or friend without payment? (It is okay to receive a pension or Department of Human Services benefit.)
  • Is this assistance provided for everyday types of activities?
  • Is this assistance ongoing for at least six months?

If you answer 'yes' to these questions, then you might want to consider accessing carer counselling and support services.

Counselling provides the opportunity to have a conversation in confidence with a skilled professional about problems or issues that are causing concern in your caring role.

Who pays for Carer Counselling services?

The Australian Government subsidises Carer Associations and other organisations so that they can deliver affordable services to you.

The Government subsidises a range of aged care services in Australia. If your personal circumstances allow, it is expected you'll contribute to the cost of your service, if you can afford to do so.

What you pay is discussed and agreed upon between you and the Carer Association or other organisation. The rate is set before you receive the relevant services.

Who provides counselling?

Carers Australia delivers carer counselling and support, provided by qualified psychologists, councellors and social workers, through a network of state and territory Carer Associations.

Additionally, Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres provide you with a single point of contact for organising and managing carer support services, including information, respite and counselling.

Extra assistance

Extra assistance is available if you are hearing and speech impaired, or where translating services are required.

Next Steps:

Find out more about looking after yourself as a carer.

Search for your local Carer Association or call them on 1800 242 636.

Find your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre in the Help at Home Finder by searching for 'Support for carers'. Alternatively, call 1800 052 222 for a range of carer support services.

Last reviewed: 30 June, 2015.