Research shows peer support can reduce carer burden

16 September 2019

In a world first, La Trobe University research has shown how peer-led support programs for family and friends who provide regular support to an adult diagnosed with a mental health condition can significantly improve carer well-being.

Family Education Programs (FEPs) are led by trained individuals with their own personal experience of caring for someone with mental health issues. The program provides education and support for groups of carers.

When carers were surveyed at the completion of the eight-week program, researchers found:

  • Communication between carers and family members improved by 11.7 per cent
  • Psychological distress in carers decreased by 8.6 per cent
  • Carer self-blame decreased by 5.7 per cent
  • Positive feelings between carers and family members increased by 7.6 per cent
  • Relationship quality between carers and family members increased by 5.3 per cent
  • Carer's stigmatising attitudes toward mental health conditions decreased by 4 per cent

The research has been published in the journal Psychological Medicine (Cambridge University Press).

Find out more about the research or check out the NDIS website for resources on carer support.