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1.2 Looking after your emotional needs

It is easy to become fatigued through the physical, mental and emotional load of caring. Not understanding what is happening to the person you care for can be a big stress as well.

It is helpful to talk about your feelings, worries and uncertainties. PCSE can support family and carers with emotional, spiritual and cultural care, and can provide you with strategies and tools to use at home to help understand and process your feelings.

Self-check: Am I coping?

This checklist may help you to determine whether you would benefit from emotional support or counselling at this time.


  • I am feeling overwhelmed or confused
  • It is difficult for me to concentrate or make decisions
  • I feel as though I cannot stop crying
  • I am using drugs, alcohol or other addictions to cope
  • I feel angry, frustrated, guilty or resentful
  • I am finding it difficult to sleep or to eat
  • I feel low, exhausted, run down and unable to cope
  • I feel a sense of anxiety, panic or numbness
  • I feel alone and that no one understands me
  • I am finding it hard to enjoy life

Our counsellors are available to help you talk through these feelings. We can work together to understand, respond and resolve current issues.

If you think you need extra support, please talk to the PCSE team or your doctor as soon as you can.

What if I’m not coping?


GriefLine (03) 9935 7400
Lifeline: 24hrs 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 24hrs 1300 224 636

Emergency respite for you

Taking respite means taking a break. Sometimes you need a break quickly. You can get respite in different ways (depending on where you live). These include in-home, residential or inpatient respite or the use of day centres and volunteer services.
Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres are available as a first point of contact for all carers seeking emergency and urgent respite.

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre Southern Region
1800 052 222

If only someone had told me this is what being a palliative carer would be like …