“It's easy to burn out. Caring for a family member is not like working from 9-5. It goes on day and night, it’s non-stop. That's why self-care is so important. ”
It can be challenging when you have a parent with a mental health condition. Family relationships may be more stressful, and you may find that your parent is unable to be there for you when they are mentally unwell.
In some cases it can feel like there's a role reversal going on. You may be caring for your parent(s) and managing the house, either on your own or with your sibling(s). This can mean excess chores, cooking, shopping and housework, or even administering medication. You may be missing out on some of your own development, whether it's social time with friends, school activities, space for yourself, or emotional support.
If you have not told someone about your situation yet, reaching out for help can be a good first step in learning how to cope. Families in this situation benefit from having extra support – like counselling, and help from the community. There are support services and carer organisations that can help you and other family members handle difficult emotions and situations, extra housework, school or work responsibilities, and more.
It is important to look after yourself as well. The resources below have information and advice. We also have pages on support for carers and how to support someone.
A closer look
Many Australians have parents with mental ill-health
You are not to blame
Taking good care of yourself helps everyone
Recovery from mental illness is possible
There is a positive side to being a young carer
You might find online and phone-based mental health resources helpful. Some suggestions are below. You can find more with our Search tool.