Services and Supports: Ask Cam, The Carer Navigator

Where can I find information about mental illness? Two good starting points are:


Where do I start to find out about help available for carers?

Two good starting points are:

Carer Gateway – see the website or Phone 1800 422 737 between 8 am and 6 pm Monday to Friday.

Carers ACT – see the website or Phone 1800 422 737 or (02) 6296 9900


As a carer can I use online mental health and wellbeing programs?

Yes, you can. Many carers and family members find these programs very helpful. You can find some examples on the Level 1 Care: Self Management page.


Is there such a thing as carer coaching to help me in my role?

Yes, there is. The Carer Gateway has Carer Coaching Service. The carer coaching service provides an opportunity for you to explore the impacts of your caring role on your life. Designed in partnership with carers, each coaching session will get you thinking about how you are going, how you’d like things to be and how you might be able to take steps towards making that happen. Each session includes evidence supported information, practical tips, resources, reflection activities and stories from real Australian carers. The online carer coaching sessions can be accessed anywhere, anytime via your home computer, mobile or tablet. For more information or to register – visit Carer Coaching.


As a carer can I access primary mental health services for my own mental health needs?

Yes. Carers and family members can receive assistance for their personal mental health needs through CatholicCare and Woden Community Services Next Step programs.

Next Step is a free program.


As a carer can I receive psychological services through the Better Access Scheme?

The starting point is seeing your GP and asking for a mental health assessment. If your GP thinks you are experiencing a mental disorder, she or he will prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan which will enable you to receive psychological services.


Will I have to pay for psychological services under Better Access?

It depends. The cost to you will vary depending on the length of the session and the fee being charged by the mental health professional. The cost for a psychological therapy session is usually greater than the Medicare rebate, so it is likely that you will need to pay the difference between what the psychologist charges you and the Medicare rebate. In some instances, a mental health professional may choose to bulk bill (i.e., aged pensioners, health care card holders), in which case you will not have to pay anything. The payment arrangements will vary, and you should check these with the psychologist before commencing your treatment.


Are there any mental health carer support groups I can join?

Yes, there are. They are support groups run by Carers ACT. Phone (02) 6296 9900 or email