Caring for someone with depression: Attitudes and clinical practices of Australian mental health workers
Many people who support a person with depression report struggling with the carer role and being dissatisfied with the inclusivity and lack of support provided by clinicians. However, little is known about what influences the support provided to Australian carers of people with depression. To investigate this, 119 Australian mental health workers completed a self-report questionnaire to gather information on their attitudes towards, barriers experienced and current clinical practices when working with carers of people with depression. Participants' attitudes towards family members and carers were generally positive. Reported inclusive clinical practices varied. Participants identified a number of barriers to inclusive practice that were predominantly organisational in nature. Participants who perceived more barriers reported providing more clinical interventions. Attitudes and barriers were associated with the inclusive clinical practice of participants who worked with mental health consumers, but not participants who worked with family members and carers. Even among this sample of self-selecting clinicians, there was room for significant improvement in rates of carer inclusive practice. Further research should explore not only what inhibits but also what enables the participation of family members and carers in the care and treatment process for people with depression.