Tandem is the peak body that represents family and friends supporting people living with mental illness. Tandem administer the Mental Health Carer Support Fund (CSF), which is funded by the Victorian Government. The Carer Support Fund is available to family members and friends who are supporting a person receiving services from an Area Mental Health Service (ie. a public mental health service).
Learn more about the Mental Health Carer Support Fund by visiting the Tandem website
Find your local Area Mental Health Service here
What can the CSF be used for?
- Transport and/or costs associated with visiting the person with a mental illness in hospital or accompanying them to medical appointments as appropriate in your supporting role.
- Carer education programs and conferences that promote knowledge and understanding of mental illness and the mental health system; and to support carer resilience, self-care and wellbeing.
- Respite. Opportunities for the carer to have a break from the caring role.
- Educational expenses. Opportunities for the carer to pursue vocational opportunities through short-term educational activities.
- Counselling. Short term counselling, provided by a practitioner outside the mental health service, to address the emotional and relationship impacts of caring for someone with a mental illness.
- Reimbursement of costs (that cannot be claimed through other Department of Health concessions or other funding sources for carers) incurred by the carer on behalf of the person for whom they care.
- Wellbeing activities for carers, individually or in groups, to access opportunities such as yoga, meditation, sporting activities, art, music or other recreational activities to support their personal wellbeing.
- The Fund may be used to support activity for a group of carers such as attendance at a conference or sporting event.
- Sitting fees for individual carers or members of the Carer and Family Advisory Group who participate in systemic carer participation activities on behalf of the mental health services.
Victorian Support for Carers Program
The Victorian Support for Carers Program is funded by the Victorian Government for unpaid carers. An unpaid carer is a person providing care to another person with care needs. A carer may look after a partner, family member, friend or someone else who needs support. Carers can be of any age, from any culture or country, and any socio-economic background. Carers may be employed or not employed. A carer might not live with the person for whom they care.
The Victorian Support for Carers Program provides person centred respite and other support to carers:
- One-off or short term support for carers including goods and equipment, that can add to other services or fill service gaps
- Support to people in a care relationship, and at the same time and place if people want to be together while having the support service
- Supporting people’s wellbeing – quality of life, physical and mental wellbeing, social activity and or social connections. For example, carers can get respite with social, health and other support.
The Victorian Support for Carers Program supplements or fills gaps or meets needs that are one-off or not met by other programs. This means that people in a care relationship may be eligible for the SCP whether or not they are accessing or are eligible for other services and programs. Other services and programs include for example the Commonwealth Government’s Integrated Carer Support Service, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Commonwealth Home Support Programme, a mental health support program, a home care package, palliative care or an aged care facility.
Find out more
Read the Victorian Support for Carers Program Guidelines 2019
Find your local provider
Find your local service – Victorian Support for Carers Program
Carers Victoria is the statewide voice for family carers, representing and providing support to carers in Victoria. Carers Victoria run a range of carer groups, events, activities and workshops. Find out what’s going on near you:
Carers Victoria also offer a Carer Advisory Line and professional counselling services.