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Resources  /   Carer Rights

Carer Rights

Every state and territory in Australia gives special rights to carers of people with mental health conditions such as bipolar. For more information about your rights and what you are entitled to, you can speak with a general practitioner, psychiatrist or other doctor, counsellor, or social worker.

On this page, the person with bipolar is called “the individual”.

Image by Edward Cisneros


  • The individual can nominate a designated carer. This carer must have a close relationship and be interested in the wellbeing of the individual. This does not necessarily mean the carer provides day to day support. The individual is also able to choose a second designated carer.

  • A Principal Care Provider is the person responsible for the day to day care of the individual. (This does not include a person who is paid to care for the individual.)

  • If you fit into either of the two categories, you are allowed to be involved with decision making, and to access information concerning the individual’s treatment.


The primary carer is someone providing care and support to the individual. Carers should be involved in receiving services, and where it is appropriate in decision making.


  • Carers are recognised for their role

  • For community care orders, the care coordinator must take all reasonable steps to consult the carer


  • The carer is referred to as the nominated person who provides the individual with support and represents their interests.

  • The nominated person has the right to:

  • Receive information about the individual

  • Assist the individual to exercise their rights

  • Access to information involving an individual’s treatment


Carers are:

  • To be notified about any information regarding the individual in a timely manner, unless the individual chooses not to allow this

  • To be provided with information about the individual’s treatment, including options for care.

  • To be involved in decisions related to the individual’s treatment and care, including any treatment reviews


  • Health care professionals must involve individuals receiving services and, where appropriate, families and support persons in decision making.

  • Documents concerning the individual are to be given to the carer.


  • The carer is referred to as the nominated support person.

  • This means that you can:

    • Participate in decisions about the individual’s treatment and care, e.g. consulting with medical practitioners and receiving information regarding treatment options

    • Receive timely information about individual’s rehabilitation and recovery

    • Arrange support services for the individual, e.g. community care, respite care

    • Be notified of any events which happen to the individual


  • The role of a carer is to provide ongoing support to the individual.

  • The Carer:

    • Should be given a statement describing their rights

    • Can apply to change or remove orders regarding treatment in the community

    • Must be notified when an individual who is an involuntary patient in a hospital is transferred

    • Can request a visit with the individual

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