Next week is National Carers Week and is a time to educate and raise awareness about the diversity of carers and the importance of their caring roles.
Interrelate in Dubbo, Orange and Central and Far West NSW provides carers with free counselling sessions to support them in their role.
There are 2.8 million unpaid carers in Australia with 857,200 just in NSW, it said.
Carers make an enormous contribution to the community as well as the national economy. If all carers decided to stop performing their role it would cost the nation $60.3 billion a year to replace those supports, it said.
Interrelate’s area manager Anne Heath said: “National Carers Week is about acknowledging and celebrating the unique and essential contribution unpaid carers make to our community.”
“Being a carer can be a rewarding but sometimes challenging experience. Anyone can become a carer and at any time so it’s important that we as a community do what we can to support the important and sometimes undervalued role they perform,” Ms Heath said.
“It’s not just the physical and financial responsibilities that can sometimes be demanding, but the emotional impacts as well. Often the support provided by carers can be underestimated, even by family and friends. Our program is able to support carers to remain strong and to ensure that they look after themselves, as well as the person they care for.”
Interrelate provides up to six free specialised counselling sessions for full-time carers who have a dependent child or adult with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition or terminal illness.
The counselling can assist with: emotional support; skills and strategies to deal with challenges; bereavement and loss; helping people to cope with change; and helping families to develop plans for caring arrangements
Interrelate this year celebrates 90 years of delivering relationship education and services to individuals, couples, families, children and schools across NSW. If you are, or know a carer who could benefit from talking to someone, call Interrelate on 1300 i relate (1300 473 528) or visit www.interrelate.org.au for more information.