About The Project
Caring through COVID is a multi-platform project that uses storytelling, community building and toolbox creation to improve the wellbeing of carers for people living with mental illness. The project encourages carers of people living with mental illness and/or psychosocial disability to connect with other carers, assess and monitor their own wellbeing, and take part in and engage with online resources which promote self-care and wellbeing.
Carers Australia has partnered with Mental Health Australia and Mental Health Carers Australia to deliver this project. This project is funded by the Department of Health through the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan.
The project comprises of the following activities:
- Social media campaign of messages to carers of a people with a mental illness from other carers on how they care for themselves
- Access to the Personal Wellbeing Index assessment tool on the Carers Australia website
- Online mindfulness program for mental health carers
- The Secret Life of Carers podcast series
Online Mindfulness Sessions
Simply Mindful has worked alongside carers to co-design a mindfulness program specifically for mental health carers.
Over seven weeks, weekly sessions are delivered online by experienced mindfulness facilitators from Simply Mindful. The program consists of information about mindfulness and short guided practices. Each session focuses on a range of topics which are particularly relevant to carers, including reducing anxiety in stressful situations, ‘on the go’ mindfulness techniques for busy carers, working with strong emotions, practices to help you sleep, and carer-specific self-compassion techniques.
Mindfulness On Demand
Carers Australia, in partnership with Simply Mindful, have created a series of on demand mindfulness sessions for carers who are either unable to attend the mindfulness program, or would like to listen to the sessions at a later date.
The sessions consists of six episode and two bonus episodes which cover managing anxiety, sleep, ‘on the go’ mindfulness and self-compassion.
In addition, the on demand sessions will soon be updated with Auslan translation- watch this space!
The Secret Life of Carers Podcast
The Secret Life of Carers is a podcast featuring the stories of mental health carers, highlighting their experiences and insights on supporting their loved ones living with mental illness and psychosocial disabilities, and the additional pressures that COVID has introduced.
The podcast is hosted by Jamila Rizvi. Jamila is a best-selling author, sought after public speaker, podcast presenter, and gender equality advocate. She has been named as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review.
The podcast is set to launch at the end of July – watch this space!
What is the Personal Wellbeing Index?
The Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) is a survey for individuals to self-assess satisfaction with their life. The survey consists of eight questions about your satisfaction with different parts of your life. Each question asks you to respond on a scale from zero to ten. On this scale, zero means you feel no satisfaction at all, and ten means you feel completely satisfied.
At the end of the survey, you will be provided a score out of 100, which indicates your current wellbeing. This survey and its results are a general indication of your wellbeing, and it does not provide advice or diagnosis. The results are not a substitute for professional or medical advice about your mental health and wellbeing.
Mental Health Support Services
If you need support during or after completing any of the activities on this page, there are a range of mental health supports available. If you are in immediate danger, please call 000.
If you are not in danger but need immediate support for your mental health, consider calling:
- Lifeline’s 24-hour telephone counselling service on 13 11 14. Or you can text 0477 13 11 14, between 6 pm-12 am AEST. Visit Lifeline for more information.
- Suicide Call Back Service’s 24-hour telephone counselling service on 1300 659 467 or visit Suicide Call Back Service.
- Beyond Blue’s support service on 1300 22 46 36 or visit Beyond Blue.
- SANE Australia’s telephone counselling service between 10am-10pm Monday to Friday AEST on 1800 187 263 or visit SANE Australia.
- QLife’s support service on 1800 184 527 or reach out using webchat between 3 pm-midnight AEST. Visit QLife for more information.
If you are seeking carer-specific support, click here for more information about Carers Australia and the National Carers Network.
All responses are anonymous, so you won’t be identified in any way. The data will be anonymously recorded and will be collectively grouped for research and reporting purposes.