Caring can be a demanding role - one that involves many emotions.

Some people who spend a lot of time caring for someone else can feel quite alone or isolated. Feelings of loss, grief, depression, anxiety and being overwhelmed are common.

It can be hard to find time for yourself or when you do you may find it difficult to relax, feel 'too tired' to do anything or 'guilty' for wanting some time to yourself. As these feelings are individual, so are the ways in which carers cope.

It's good to know help and support is available - there are things you can do to understand and deal with your feelings.

Below, you can find out about mindfulness, relaxation and managing your stress. You may also want to think about counselling or talking to others in a similar situation - talking with family, friends, your doctor, a counsellor or other carers. It helps to know you're not alone - to know support and understanding is available.

Support Groups

Support groups are a safe place to connect with other carers who may be experiencing similar things to you. They are supportive, safe places where you can tell your story, share advice and make suggestions. 

Support groups can be general or aimed at particular illnesses or disabilities people care for, such as brain injuries, dementia, cancer or autism.

There are also groups for men, women, parents, grandparents and young carers; for particular languages, religious and cultural backgrounds such Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Counselling

Counselling can be in person or over the phone; it can be one-on-one or in a group.

Where to find support

There are a variety of trusted places you can contact to find the support that best suits your needs. If nothing below suits, please feel free to call us - Carer Support - on 9462 9488 and we can help.

Carers NSW have an online Carer Support group database or you can call their Carer Line on freecall 1800 242 636. For an interpreter please call 1314500.   

Carers Gateway - Information and resources on a range of carer support groups including general and specific groups catering for carers of people with particular illnesses, injuries, disabilities or chronic conditions.

NSLHD Carer Support Service – For information on Carer Support Services and local Northern Sydney support groups

Cancer Council NSW : The Cancer Council recognises that carers have a vital and demanding role. They offer support over the phone and in person. They can also link you to practical support services, transport to appointments, home help and provide information on a wide range of cancer-related topics. Visit their website or call on 13 11 20.

Dementia Australia: For information on support groups, or any other information. You can also call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.   

AngliCare: For more information on affordable counselling through AngliCare please visit their website.

My Aged Care: For information about support groups in your area.  You can read about caring for someone with a particular need or if you prefer, call 1800 200 422 Mon - Fri 8am - 8pm; Sat 10am - 2pm. 

Young Carers: There are lots of people and organisations in the community that can help you. And if you live remotely, there are phone numbers and websites you can use to seek help.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carers - Carers NSW provides an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Carer Program including resources and information on relaxation, health and wellbeing, support groups and carer life courses.   For more information freecall 1800 242 636 (*except from mobile) 9am-5pm Monday - Friday.

Beyond Blue: have a large range of online advice and resources.  You can call on 1300 22 4636 and talk things through and they can point you in the right direction or visit their website.

Black Dog Institute:  a large range of resources for people with depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder. Support groups who meet regularly to discuss their experiences, problems and strategies for coping. Some support groups meet online.

Carers Australia: National Carer Counselling Program:  Short-term counselling services provided by professional counsellors to assist carers with emotional support and coping skills. Services are available in person (face-to-face) by telephone or in a group. Call 1800 242 636 or visit

The San Hospital at Wahroonga offers a range of grief support services.

  • The Butterfly Foundation

    Are you caring for someone experiencing an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating? The Butterfly Foundation invites carers to attend a support group facilitated by counsellors. Groups are open to any parent, partner, grandparent, caring friend or other carer over 18 years of age. The group provides opportunities to discuss the challenges of helping your loved one to recover and offers support and encouragement.  It is a safe space where you can talk about your feelings and find connection with others.   

Quest for Life Foundation

They call them Life’s D’s.   Whether it’s a diagnosis, divorce, death, depression or disaster everyone faces a significant challenge at some point in their life.  If you can no longer cope, are feeling depressed, stressed, anxious or facing a major health challenge, the Quest for Life Foundation can provide practical strategies and tools to help you heal the past, build strength for the future and live in the present.

They offer retreats and community based workshops that encourage, educate and empower you to build emotional resilience and peace of mind.

Their website has a range of resources including eNewsletters, podcasts, meditation practices and information on health and wellbeing including how to sleep better. You can also telephone them on 1300 941 488.   

Managing Your Stress

Stress is a normal part of life.

While it may not be possible to remove all the stresses from your life you can learn how to manage stress and grow more resilient.

Staying fit, healthy and relaxed, getting enough sleep and maintaining your social contact is a great way to start. 

Below are links to trusted sites that will give you information and tips that can help.  Your doctor may also be able to advise you on other ways to help manage stress.

Carers NSW - 'How to Manage your Stress' - includes:

Mind Health Connect: Information on the causes and symptoms of stress, what causes it, early warning signals, how to change the causes, relaxation techniques and other strategies. 

Yoga and Relaxation

Yoga and meditation are great for relaxation.

Northern Sydney Carer Support Service has weekly Carer Yoga and Relaxation classes that work on both the mind and the body to rejuvenate your soul and build positivity and empowerment.   

Classes are suitable for all ages - men and women - and no experience is needed. Classes are by donation and taught by a qualified Dru Yoga teacher.

For more information and to register please call Lynette Brakell (Diploma of Dru Yoga Teaching) on 0424 232 342 or Barbara Lewis, Carer Support Service on 9462 9721.

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