CARING for a loved one with a mental illness is a fulltime but often thankless job.
Griffith mother-of-two Starr Lees lives that reality every day as she lovingly cares for her husband, who is struggling to cope with a range of mental health issues.
So when Mrs Lees was invited to attend the Carers Day Out on Tuesday she jumped at the chance.
The day included a bus trip to Yarran Wines, where she and 39 other carers enjoyed a high tea for lunch.
“It is nice to be able to forget about everything for a while,” Mrs Lees said.
“I care for my husband 24/7 and I have two children to look after as well. It is a very welcome break to have this time out for myself.
“I do what I do out of love, but it helps to know that I’m not alone and talk to other carers. I find there are others worse off than me.”
Griffith Aged Support Service joined with Family and Community Services ageing, disability and home care, the Family and Carer Mental Health Program, Carer Assist, Intereach and Home and Community Care to host the event.
Griffith Aged Support Service co-ordinator Monica Beckman said a grant from carers NSW had made the day possible.
“Carers come from all walks of life,” Mrs Beckman said. “Some are looking after elderly parents with dementia, some with teenagers with mental health issues or family members with disabilities.
“We wanted to give them a break and show some recognition for all of the work they do. It is nice to be able to show them that what they do is a huge job but it is also appreciated.”
While at Yarran Wines, the carers were treated to a pampering session, with Denise McGann on hand to conduct brain gym exercises.
National Carers Week runs from October 13 to 19.