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Psychiatrists Call for Better Support for NZ Carers

Psychiatrists Call for Better Support for NZ Carers

The importance of carers, whanau and families will be celebrated today with the official NZ launch of the 'Supporting carers in the mental health system' position statement developed by the Community Collaboration Committee during the annual NZ Branch Conference of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) in Auckland.

"Psychiatrists have long recognised that supporting carers, whanau and families can make a big difference to a person's recovery" says Dr Murray Patton, President of the RANZCP.

Dr Wayne Miles, Chair of the College's Community Collaboration Committee and a past President of the College has been an advocate for community engagement with mental health services for many years. "In my work I often spend time with carers, whanau and families, and have tremendous respect for what they do."

With 20% of the population or 1 in 5 New Zealanders having some experience of mental illness within the past year alone, many New Zealanders have caring responsibilities. Services available to carers, whanau and families include financial assistance, respite, counselling, social and peer support, advice lines and referrals.

"Carers, whanau and families, and people with lived experience of mental illness often struggle to access the appropriate services when they need them", says Dr Patton. "They may be unaware of what is available or reluctant to contact mental health services because of the associated stigma. They may be confused about eligibility and application processes".

"The RANZCP supports initiatives that enhance support for carers, such as raising public awareness, education and training programs, and legislation and policy initiatives that give formal recognition to the role of carer."

Speakers: Judge Ken Mason launching 'Supporting carers in the mental health system'

- Dr Murray Patton and Dr Wayne Miles speaking about the community and mental health

- Florence Leota and Jim Crow will also speak about their experiences as carers

When: 3.30pm with refreshments and nibbles to follow at 5.15pm

Where: Great Room II, The Langham, 83 Symonds St, Auckland Members of the public are encouraged to attend. ENDS

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