There are hundreds of thousands of people across Australia whose lives are changed forever by caring for someone with a mental illness; who struggle daily with the demands and challenges of this role. Caring is a delicate balancing act like no other, often performed without a safety net.
But how many of us really know the carers’ stories?
Caring …and other highwire acts gives carers in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, a voice; a chance to tell their stories honestly and anonymously. While the stories in this book are drawn from one region, they are also the stories of many families from many places.
There are stories of heartache, stories of grief and loss, and stories of great courage. Walking the tightrope of mental illness can be all these things and more. But amid the pain there can be moments of hope, even exhilaration and humour, when the fear of falling is cast aside and love makes anything seem possible.
This is an essential book for carers, social workers, social work educators, counsellors and chaplains, and anyone involved in supporting carers or those with mental health issues.
Stories and Reviews
Book Review, ARAFMI News, Mental Health Carers, ARAFMI Queensland Inc., no. 128, May 2013
This book of short stories is a must-read for carers of loved ones with mental illness. Stories are mostly factual, with a couple written as fiction and several excellent poems.
The topics written about by carers include obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, bi-polar, depression and suicide. The grief that carers are living with comes through in each story in quite moving and poignant ways. You will hear the carer’s perspective told by a child, a mother, a dad, a partner, a sister and a friend.
Be prepared for heart-felt expressions of a full range of emotions—love, yearning, anger, grief, disappointment—and keep the tissues handy!
Carers NSW e-bulletin, April 2008
‘Caring … and other highwire acts is a collection of stories by carers about their experiences of caring for a person with a mental illness. These carers live in a remote part of Australia but while the stories in this book are drawn from one region, they are also the stories of many families from many places. The book deals with parenting and partnering with people living with compulsive disorders, bipolar conditions and schizophrenia. The stories have one theme: the efforts made by carers to help their loved one.’