/ supportworker

Intersectionality and Mental Health In Aged Care & Disability Support

Intersectionality refers to how different aspects of a person's identity (such as disability, age, sexuality and race) intersect to create unique experiences of discrimination or disadvantage. For individuals living with disability and individuals who require aged care services, accessing mental health support services can be particularly challenging due to several factors:

Stigma and Misconceptions:

Clients with disabilities often face societal stigma and misconceptions, which can be exacerbated when they also experience mental health issues. This dual stigma can make them reluctant to seek help.

Physical and Communication Barriers:

Physical barriers, such as inaccessible buildings, and communication barriers, such as the need for alternative communication methods, can prevent individuals from accessing mental health services.

Financial Constraints:

The additional costs associated with disability and aged care, such as medical expenses and specialised equipment, can make affording mental health services difficult.

Lack of Integrated Care:

Health care systems often treat disability and mental health separately, leading to fragmented care where neither issue is fully addressed.

How Care and Support Workers On Careseekers Can Help

As a care and support worker on Careseekers, you are in a unique position to help clients overcome these barriers.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

Recognising Symptoms

Signs of Anxiety and Depression:

Anxiety: Excessive worry, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, difficulty concentrating.
Depression: Persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite, trouble sleeping, fatigue.

By being observant and empathetic, you might notice these signs during your interactions with clients. Recognising these symptoms early can lead to timely intervention and support.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Open Communication: Encourage your clients to talk about their feelings and listen without judgment. Create a safe space for them to express their concerns.

Empathy and Patience: Show understanding and patience, which can make a significant difference in their willingness to seek help.

Facilitating Access to Services

Provide Information:

Educate yourself about local mental health services and share this information with your clients. Knowing where to go for help is the first step in accessing services.
These include:
Beyond Blue
Black Dog Institute
Lifeline Australia

Assist with Logistics:

Help your clients with the practicalities of accessing services, such as arranging transportation or helping them fill out necessary forms.

Support During Appointments:

Accompany your clients to mental health appointments if they feel comfortable with this. Your presence can provide emotional support and help them feel more at ease.

Supporting aged care or disability support clients who also face mental health challenges requires understanding and addressing the unique barriers they encounter.

Your proactive and compassionate approach can help bridge the gap between recognising mental health symptoms and accessing professional care, ultimately contributing to a better quality of life for your clients.

To become a care or support worker, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/carer

To find disability support services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/disability-support-workers

To find aged care services, please visit www.careseekers.com.au/services/aged-care-workers

To make a referral, please visit https://www.careseekers.com.au/referrals