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Mental Health Carers rights and responsibilities.

Mental health carers rights and responsibilities are important as all members of Australian society have rights and responsibilities in relation to health care. Specifically, carers of people with a mental illness have the following rights:

  • The right to respect for individual worth, human dignity and privacy.
  • The right to comprehensive information, education, training and support to facilitate the understanding, advocacy and care of those consumers they care for.
  • The right to put information concerning family relationships and any matters relating to the mental state of the consumer to health service providers.
  • The right to seek a second opinion.
  • The right to place limits on their availability to consumers.
  • The right to mechanisms of complaint and redress.
  • The right to help with their own difficulties, which may be generated by the process of caring or acting as an advocate for a person with a mental illness or mental disorder.

  • With the consent of the consumer, carers and advocates are entitled to :
    • have access to the consumer;
    • be consulted by service providers about measures under consideration for treatment of the consumer or for his or her welfare;
    • arrange support services such as respite care, counseling and community nursing facilities; exchange information with those providing treatment.

Carers and advocates have a responsibility to:

  • Respect the human worth and dignity of the person who has a mental problem or mental disorder.

  • Consider the opinions of professionals and other staff and recognise their skills in providing care and treatment for the person who has a mental problem or mental disorder. Co-operate as far as possible with reasonable programs of treatment and care aimed at returning the consumer to optimal personal autonomy.

  • The parent/guardian/carer of a child or adolescent has a responsibility to obtain appropriate assistance if they have reason to believe that the child may have a mental health problem or mental disorder.

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