The important role of families and carers is also recognised in the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW). Many people believe it is important that carers, including family members, are given access to information that would assist them in providing care. However, there is also concern that patients have some control over who is provided with information about them.
The Mental Health Act 2007 balances these views by:
The Act initially used the term ‘primary carer’, however this was replaced in 2015 with ‘designated carer’. A second category of ‘principal care provider’ was also added in 2015. The principal care provider is the person who is primarily responsible for providing support or care for a consumer, and may be given similar information to the designated carer. For more information about the rights and responsibilities of families and carers of people with a mental illness, see Amendments to the NSW Mental Health Act (2007) fact sheet - Carers and Families.
Many community managed organisations have now moved towards family friendly mental health services. This means that health professionals should:
In addition, mental health services are: