Dear Families and Friends
My name is Aislin Gleeson, the Tasmanian Carers Representative on the National Mental Health Consumers and Carers Forum.
The NMHCCF is a combined national voice for Mental Health Consumers and Carers where State and Territory Representatives advocate on matters of mental health reform.
My role is to take the voice of Tasmanian Carers, Friends, and Families to the National table so that my voice is your voice too. The role of the Carer Representative on the Forum is also to support and strengthen the opportunity for Tasmanian Carers to give their direct feedback on National Consultation issues.
There is a lot happening in this space. Currently, there is an opportunity to give feedback on what is required to keep NDIS participants safe. Ms. Lisa Paul AO PSM, a co-chair on the current NDIS review panel recently spoke with the Forum and requested community feedback about NDIS supports reducing in-patient stays. Any feedback can also be left on the website. If you would like to have your say as a Carer, Friend, or Family member of someone with a psychosocial disability here is the link to the proposal paper: and this is the link to the Website where you can give feedback.
Also, for those who may be interested, on Monday 17th July at 11:00 am, there is a webinar run by Emily Unity: Consumer AND Carer: Navigating DUAL lived experience. This webinar is for anyone who has experienced mental health issues as both a consumer and carer or is interested in learning more about this complex topic. There is no charge for this webinar and you can register here
Since taking up the position on the Forum, I have been engaged in a number of consultations and working groups. Currently, I am working with Lived Experience Australia giving the Carer perspective on what information is needed for Carers to be involved in Community Managed Organisations accreditation. This is so important as Carer involvement gives voice to standards of care being met. I also recently had the opportunity to speak with the Productivity Commission on the Inquiry into unpaid Carer leave and adding an entitlement to the National Employment Standards and was able to raise with the Commissioners, concerns and recommendations from our State on the following:
- Any Entitlement need to be for all Carers, including our Young Carers.
- That legislation needs to be supported by a workplace culture that identifies and supports Carers and the need for flexibility in work arrangements, as not having a supportive workplace will hinder Carers from accessing their entitlement. Having a manager who identifies with Carers Lived Experience/ an identified Carer co-worker, will help support a positive workplace culture to then access any entitlements.
- Accessing Centrelink payments during a period of unpaid Carers’ leave can create more layers of difficulty. This could be reduced by identifying Lived Experience Centrelink employees in-house and on the Carers and Disability phone line/ Centrelink Social Workers.
- The significant impact on well-being, juggling caring and work responsibilities, and the physical, psychological, and emotional toll of loneliness and isolation.
- The risk of carers becoming unwell themselves with carer and work commitments, the realities of not being able to maintain employment of choice, and consequent financial stress, both in the short term and long term through reduced superannuation.
I aim to continue to build connections across our State, to hear from and meet our Tasmanian Carers, and to grow my knowledge base of what you want to be heard at a National Level by listening and learning. Building these strong connections allows me to advocate for you about what is important to you. I look forward to the opportunities to bring the important voice of Tasmanian Families, Friends, and Carers to Forums, Working Groups, Consultations, and Policy Paper Submissions.
If you would like to contact me, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.