How Carer Gateway helps address fatigue

Free counselling services and in-person and online resources are providing carers the support and skills they need to avoid burnout, writes Shanelle Beazley.

There are approximately 2.7 million carers in Australia. These individuals often put their own careers and lives on hold to take care of family members or friends in need.  

Given how demanding and time-intensive these roles can be, burnout and fatigue are issues that many carers face. This is especially true when personal lives and time spent as carers blur together, as many care for someone in their home.

With the 2023 Carer Wellbeing Survey highlighting how carers continue to be at high risk of poor wellbeing and health, access to support for managing this is essential.

For Australians in need of additional support in their carer roles, Carer Gateway delivers resources that help carers continue to care for those in need, including ways to support your own mental and physical health.

Support available through Carer Gateway

Carer Gateway is the Australian Government’s national carer hub. It provides support and advice for carers of all ages, including young carers (under the age of 25).

It provides a range of free services and support for carers that help minimise burnout and fatigue, including peer support workshops and activities, tailored support packages, counselling, coaching, online skills courses, access to emergency respite and additional resources like the Carer Conversations podcast.    

The Benevolent Society is the Carer Gateway service provider for metropolitan Sydney (excluding South-western Sydney and Nepean).

Counselling helps carers develop coping skills

Feelings of fatigue and burnout can’t be solved overnight. Addressing this requires time to get comfortable discussing different aspects of carer roles, and starting to identify what is contributing to these feelings.

Carer Gateway’s counselling services create safe, inviting spaces for carers to have these conversations with qualified professionals who can provide guidance and input.

Through Carer Gateway, carers can access six one-on-one counselling sessions every 12 months, depending on their needs. Sessions can be attended over the phone, via video link, or in-person, and last about an hour. After the sixth session, Carer Gateway provides ongoing support based on the requirements of each individual carer.

These sessions start with counsellors learning more about why the carers are seeking counselling support. The following sessions help identify the specific issues that carers are looking to work through or seek guidance on, and how they’d like to be more supported to achieve this. The final sessions see carers reflect on everything they’ve discussed with their counsellor and identify the future support they may need, including emergency respite.

These discussions are vital to unpacking exactly what may be causing feelings of burnout or fatigue. By digging deeper into the causes of these feelings, counselling help carers develop coping skills. They also enable carers to think about new ways to approach setting new boundaries between their carer roles and their personal lives to minimise burnout.

Making the most of additional support

Along with counselling, Carer Gateway delivers additional in-person and online resources available to support carers.

Carer Gateway runs several peer support groups where carers meet, discuss their experiences as carers, and provide advice to each other.

Carers can also access online Carer Skills Courses that provide practical tips to help them develop new skills to apply in their roles. These free online self-paced learning modules take approximately 20–40 minutes to complete. Responses can be downloaded to easily refer to as resources.

Additionally, the Carer Gateway Online Peer Support Service is aforum where carers can talk anonymously with other carers, start group discussions and ask whatever question is on their mind.

By embracing these resources, carers can develop new skills to apply in their roles, connect with other carers, and find useful information and emotional support.

For those who may need assistance, Carer Gateway provides a range of support options to help carers grow in their roles, connect with other carers, and set boundaries between their carer roles and their personal lives to minimise burnout.

To register for Carer Gateway, call 1800 422 737 & press 1 (Mon-Fri) between 8am – 5.00pm and speak to a Carer Gateway representative who can assist you or register or find out more on the dedicated website.

Shanelle Beazley is Partnerships and Engagement Officer and Indigenous Development at The Benevolent Society – Carer Gateway

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