Support services

Caring for someone with a mental illness is hard work – really, really hard. It can be emotionally draining, physically exhausting, confusing and downright frightening at times. It can make it difficult to earn a living, and difficult to find time for yourself – especially if caring is a 24 hour job, which it often is. If there is no one else to give you a break, or give you some support, then, in time, it is likely to affect your own physical and mental health.

Luckily, in Australia there are a number of government funded support services as well as volunteer carer led support groups available to carers, so you don’t have to do this alone.

Click on your state below to see what is available.

*Please note that we have just started to put this list together, and would really value input from services. We would be very happy to link to websites that would be useful to carers.

Australia wide
Australian Capital Territory
Northern Territory
South Australia
  • Mental Illness Fellowship SA – includes several carer support programs, including the ‘Assisting Families Program’, ‘Drug and Alcohol and Mental Illness’ program and the ‘Partner’ program
  • Carers SA
  • Carer consultants –  (click here for contact list via Victorian Mental Health Carers Network)  – Employees of mental health services who have a lived experience of caring for someone with a mental illness.  As well as providing a carer perspective to services, they usually offer information, referrals and peer support to carers and families involved with their services. If you care for an adult or young person involved with one of these services, contacting the carer consultant is a good way to connect to supports.
  • Carer support services listed by region List put together by the Victorian Mental Health Carers Network.  The Carers Network is not a support service itself, but is the peak body for family and carers of people with a mental illness.  They provide useful contact information for carers.
  • ARAFEMI –  Victorian service offering peer support, counseling, respite and education to carers and families of those with a mental illness, as well as to consumers. You can self refer and don’t need to be involved with a mental health service.  ARAFEMI also offers a telephone helpline during usual business hours and online support.
  • ERMHA Carer Respite – Service in southern metropolitan Melbourne which provides a range of respite and vocational support options for carers of people with a mental illness, psychiatric disability or intellectual disability. Respite options are also available to the care recipient.


Western Australia
  • ARAFMI WA –  Mental health carers and friends association
  • Carers WA


  1. nelliemay

    Hi Helen,
    hope all is going well for you and all carers.

    Our group is 3 sessions old now so I would like to ask if you would add us to your list?

    we are Carers For Carers Cairns,

    • a carer

      I would be very happy to connect carers to support groups in any way possible, Colleen. I was thinking it might be nice if I could work out a way to do that using Google Maps so that people can easily find local supports – but that might take a little bit of thinking for this web novice! In the meantime I will add you to the list. Well done for getting a group going – I wish you all every success!


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