The Stockland CARE Foundation and our partners are sharing stories and advice on mental health as part of Mental Health Month this October. This week is National Carers Week (11 to 17 October 2020), an opportunity for us to celebrate, recognise and raise awareness about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.
Carers provide care and support to a family member or friend with disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, serious illness, a terminal illness, addiction or who are more senior. As part of National Carers Week we wanted to hear from our partner Redkite on how carers with a very ill child can be supported.
‘’It could be said that when a child hurts, the whole family hurts.
That’s why at Redkite, we don’t just work closely with the parents of children with cancer, but we support their brothers and sisters, their extended family and sometimes even their friends. We understand how hard it can be to support someone who is caring for their seriously ill child.
If you are friends or colleagues with someone who has a seriously ill child, some of these tips compiled by our social workers might help you care for a carer.
Discover: Find out more about the specific illness your friend’s child is diagnosed with. This can help when planning what to do when helping them.
Listen: You can help just by listening to them. You might be one of the only people your friend feels comfortable enough to talk to about what’s really going on with them. Being a good listener will help them work through their own emotions.
Feel: Your friend's emotions might be completely different each day. Mood swings can be expected and sometimes they might be completely overwhelmed. But support from friends will make things easier.
React: Whatever your own reaction is to your friend’s situation, that’s OK. You may need to take some time to work out how you’re feeling and how to manage that to make your friendship work.
Connect: A lot of people are scared by what they don’t know and can tend to act strangely around people who have been diagnosed with an illness or avoid them altogether. Put yourself in your friend’s position and think about how you’d like people to treat you.
Thanks to the generous support of Stockland, Redkite are able to care for the carers of children with cancer all over the country, every day.’’
You can learn more about Redkite and how they are helping children with cancer and their families at Redkite.org.au