Sarah Roxburgh is the new Queensland carer representative on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum, advising national decision and policy makers.
Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Ivan Frkovic today announced Ms Roxburgh’s appointment to the national body.
Mr Frkovic said about 240,000 Australians provided care for people with a mental illness, delivering an essential, but largely under recognised, part of the mental health system.
“A 2016 study indicated it would cost $13.2 billion to replace informal mental health care with formal support services.
“Carers are most often a family member, either parents, spouses, or even children, and they provide daily support for the person they are caring for.
“They are a hugely important resource in the treatment of people with a lived experience of mental illness, including sharing information, and being active contributors to management and recovery from illness.”
Mr Frkovic said: “As the Queensland carer representative, Ms Roxburgh has the opportunity to represent Queensland carers’ voices and elevate the on-the-ground issues experienced by carers to a high-level forum.”
Ms Roxburgh said she was excited to advocate for carers and their needs, including addressing the stigma experienced by people with lived experience and their carers.
“Carers definitely need more recognition. They often have poor mental and physical wellbeing themselves, with caring impacting on their relationships, careers, finances and housing.
“Many carers don’t have any support at all, or can’t get it when they need it, or it doesn’t meet their needs.
“I have worked closely with carers and clinicians at the coalface about the importance of collaboration between carers and treatment teams,” Ms Roxburgh said.
“We have a lot of insight to help improve services and mental health policy for carers and for the people they care for.”
Ms Roxburgh was a carer consultant for the Queensland Eating Disorder Service at Metro North Hospital and Health Service and has facilitated Fostering Recovery workshops giving practical support and strategies for carers, in partnership with Eating Disorders Association (EDA). She has been a board member of EDA and is currently a carer consultant for their Carer Peer Mentor Project.
ENDS CONTACT: Kate Southwell (07) 3033 0340 or 0409 275 385