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Understanding factors associated with Australian mental health carers' employment


Understanding factors associated with mental health carers' employment - report front cover"It is widely understood - indeed, perhaps self-evident - that people with intensive caring responsibilities are less likely to be employed than ‘non-carers’. Carers not only provide an irreplaceable structural support to Australia’s vast health and social care systems; they also routinely do so at the expense of their own careers, education, and long-term economic security. Unpaid carers in Australia are simultaneously underrepresented in the formal workforce, and an unrecognised part of the health care workforce." - Peter Brooks AM, Honorary Professorial Fellow, Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne 

In 2018, Mind and the University of Queensland published a follow up to their 2017 report which had assessed and quantified the aggregate economic value of mental health carers in Australia. In this new report, researchers undertook a detailed exploration of the disadvantage faced by mental health carers in accessing employment on an equal footing to other Australians, and an examination of the specific barriers many face to workforce participation. 

The report found: 

  • Mental health carers are significantly more likely not to be employed compared to working age non-carers. 
  • Young carers face specific and acute disadvantage. Almost 13% of children aged 5-14 with caring responsibilities for a loved one with mental illness are not attending school. 
  • Over 40% of carers who are not employed would like to work while caring.

You can view the 2018 technical report Understanding factors associated with Australian mental health carers' employment here. You can also view the summary report here