Clinical nurse educator and former primary school teach, Alison Salisbury was the primary carer for her son who died by suicide, aged 19, two and half years after a previous, non-fatal attempt.
During the period of supporting her son, Alison became acutely aware of the stress, fatigue and burnout associated with her caring role and the lack of integrated support services available to her in Tasmania.
Alison plans to compare the lived experiences of carers in Tasmania, the UK and Italy – three jurisdictions that provide quite different models of mental health and carer support services. Her project will explore each model through storytelling: carer participants share their experiences and ideas about which support services have proven most valuable to them in their caring roles.
Alison hopes the findings of her project will support the introduction of best practice community-based carer support services throughout Australia, and empower those caring for loved ones with complex mental health issues.