Your Rights as a Carer

PsychMed values the contribution that carers make to the support of our clients and recognises the importance of their role in a client’s recovery. We know that our work will be more effective where a carer is appropriately involved in accordance with a client’s wishes. The carer perspective is a unique and helpful adjunct to therapy.

Carers’ Rights and Responsibilities

South Australia has a Carers’ Charter, administered by the Office for Carers within the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, see:

http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/community-support/carers/help-and-support-for-carers/carers-rights-and-legislation

The National Standards for Mental Health Services 2010 also provide specific standards for the involvement of carers in the treatment of a mental health client, see Standard 7, found at:

https://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-n-servst10

Information, support and other resources for carers are also available through Carers SA, see their website at http://carers-sa.asn.au/.

Working Together with PsychMed

You are welcome to identify yourself to us as a carer for a client, or the client can let us know that you are their carer. The client has the right to decide whether and how they wish to involve a carer in their treatment.

As a carer, even without permission from our client, you are entitled to general information about our service and about psychological conditions and their treatment. This website contains helpful information and links to services and sources of information, or you can ask the psychologist.

You can give us any information you wish about a client’s situation and mental health. We do not need the client’s permission to receive this information. We welcome information that may help us to understand the client’s needs. Please note that any information you give us will form part of the client’s file and is, ordinarily, available to him or her.

With the client’s permission, you can also receive personal information about the client’s health, treatment and needs. In general, no personal information can be disclosed to you without the client’s permission or a clear legal basis (such as a power of guardianship, where the client lacks legal capacity).

If the client wishes, you can attend sessions with them. This can be helpful for both carer and client in understanding the mental health issues and finding solutions. It also helps the psychologist gain a clear picture of the client’s needs. However, the psychologist can exclude a person from the session if the psychologist considers their presence is not helpful for the therapy.

With the client’s permission, a carer can be involved in treatment planning, as well as in relapse-prevention and discharge planning. This can take place in session or through separate discussions between you and the psychologist. We particularly value your feedback on any difficulties the client is experiencing in treatment, and on how the client is responding to treatment.

Carer feedback on our service

Carers have a right to be involved in the planning, development and evaluation of mental health services to the people they care for.

PsychMed welcomes your feedback either about our treatment of the person you care for or about our service generally. If you have suggestions to improve our service, or you wish to make a comment or complaint, you can fill in a form at the reception desk or you can phone or email the manager of the office you dealt with, see [insert link to our feedback page]. You can give your name, or be anonymous, as you prefer.