Mental Health Carers Forum

Join us on 16 May, 2019  

Why Mental Health Carers?

A carer is a person who provides care, support and assistance to another person who needs it because that other person has a disability, medical condition, mental health condition or is aged and frail, and that person is substantially dependent on their carer for ongoing care (Carers Recognition Act 2012).

Caring can be emotionally demanding and impact the physical and mental health of the carer with significant consequence to their wellbeing. Carers often ignore their own health and are 40 per cent more likely to suffer from a chronic health problem (Carers NSW Australia). Mental Health Carers provide crucial support for people living with a mental illness in the community to assist them in their recovery, by supporting them to engage in activities and by providing emotional support and advocacy. Carers are often family members or friends of the person living with a mental illness.

For students’ who are carers, the role can impact their ability to study and transition through university.

By bringing together expert professionals, young people with a lived experience, and frontline service providers, both from Western Sydney University and our local service providers, together we aim to build the capacity within our community to support our carers. We hope the event will both educate and increase awareness of being a carer, while providing attendees with the necessary tools to be advocates for themselves, their peers, carers and the people who they are caring for.

The ONEtalk Mental Health Carers Forum

ONEtalk Forums are a partnership initiative between Western Sydney University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Team and Parramatta Mission, lead agency for headspace Mt Druitt, Parramatta, Penrith, and Castle Hill. We are grateful to be delivering our third Forum in partnership with Mental Health Carers NSW. We hope this Forum will increase community understanding of the role of mental health carers and reinforce the role of the community and its agencies in actively building the capacity of our carers.

The Keynote for the Forum will be presented by Jonathan Edward Harms, CEO of Mental Health Carers NSW (MHCN). Graduating from the University of Western Australia with degrees in Arts and Law, Jonathan worked as a plaintiff lawyer, public servant, policy advisor and stakeholder manager for State and Federal Ministers, the Ministry of Health in WA and NSW, private corporations (Insurance Australia Group) and Community Managed Organisations, including ‘Mental Health Carers NSW’ (MHCN). CEO of MHCN since 2012, he initiated Carer Peak Advisory Committee(s) to enhance stakeholder participation in MHCN policy development, the Mental Health Carer Support Worker Forums, and a weekly email newsletter. Jonathan has recently been re-elected to the Board of MHCC for a second term.

Following the key speakers address, our three guest speakers, including a young person with a lived experience of being a carer, Carer’s NSW and Western Sydney University Welfare Services will provide information on the support available in our local community and at Western.

Post the Forum, networking opportunities will be supported with afternoon tea and stalls from Western Sydney University Student Services, Carers NSW and other headspace consortium partners.

Places are strictly limited. Please consider peers and only register if you can attend.

Forum Details

Location:             Western Sydney University -  Parramatta South Campus.

Building:             Female Orphan School

Date:                    16th of May 2019

Time:                   3:00pm to 5:00pm, registrations open 2.30pm

Register Now:    Carers Forum


  • For more information on other Health Promotion initiatives at Western, please contact Rowena Saheb, Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotions Coordinator or Andrea Earl, Mental Health and Wellbeing Student Assistant.
  • For more information on Parramatta Mission please visit, Parramatta Mission
  • To learn more about the work of Mental Health Carers NSW, please visit MHCN
  • To learn more about Free, confidential Welfare available to all students, please visit the Welfare Service webpage or call 1300 668 370 to make an appointment
  • To learn more about the Employee Assistance Program, please visit EAP
  • For more information on student facing health promotion initiatives on campus please join our students Facebook page: Western Sydney U – Mental Health and Wellbeing