Family and Carer Mental Health Program


The Illawarra Shoalhaven Mental Health Service values and respects the significant role of families, carers and friends who support someone with mental health issues. To ensure our service is meeting your needs, we are providing Carer Experience Surveys within each of the Inpatient Units and Community teams. Please ask for a survey, provide your feedback to help us enhance service delivery. 

What the service is

The Family & Carer Mental Health Program (F&CMHP) provides clinical consultation and support to clinicians, families, carers and relevant partner organisations. This includes the provision of specialist interventions and education about mental health issues for families and carers, and the delivery of a wide range of initiatives for mental health staff and community partners, to increase their existing skills and confidence to work within a family and carer inclusive framework. 

What we do

Frequently the Mental Health Service will recommend that the Family & Carer Team become involved in supporting carers in the treatment and care plan to enhance recovery for them and the person they support. 

If this has been requested, a staff member of the Family & Carer Program will offer a phone call to discuss the carer needs, and provide relevant support and/or referrals to appropriate agencies. For the more complex family and carer issues, the Family & Carer Team works in tandem with the referring clinician/s to provide families with:

  • opportunity to discuss their main difficulties and concerns
  • access to relevant information and education
  • support to problem solve together and assist in planning for the future
  • referrals to other agencies, as needed.

A core role of the Family & Carer MH Program Team is to deliver Staying Connected when Emotions Run High: a highly valuable intervention workshop developed specially for families, carers and friends, offering education and plans to enhance relationships and address safety issues. There is also an introductory workshop for professionals and support workers to introduce the Stay Connected strategies and frameworks with an aim to share a common language and strengthen a Stay Connected community. (Please click on above title to locate workshops) 

Working in partnership for best outcomes

The Illawarra Shoalhaven F&CMHP team works with several other government and non-government organisations (NGOs).  A close partnership has been formed with our NGO partners, Aftercare Family and Carers Education and Support (FACES) team and other local carer support agencies, to ensure families, carers and friends are well supported within the community.

If you provide support to someone with mental health issues and would like information, education, advocacy and support, or would like to join a carer group, please contact:

Aftercare FACES Wollongong T: 02 4229 7254
Aftercare FACES Nowra T: 02 4422 1547
ARAFMI Illawarra Caring for Carers T: 02 4283 3993

Contact Information

Family and Carer Mental Health Program
C/o Older People’s Mental Health Service
Block C, 2 Bridge Street
Coniston NSW 2500
02 4220 7900

8.30am to 5.00pm
Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays)

How to get there

Phone the Family and Carer Mental Health Program for advice before attending.