The spouses and relatives caring for those suffering from anxiety or depression may be putting their own health at risk, according to a new study by Wesley Mission.
Titled Keeping minds well: Caring till it hurts, the charity's latest report found that almost 90 per cent of people who have cared for someone with a mental health issue reported a harmful impact on their own physical and mental wellbeing, as well as employment and financial situation.
According to Wesley Mission chief executive officer Reverend Keith Garner, the role of a carer not only impacts of a person's health, but also has repercussions in the wider community.
"They are also more likely to have experienced stigma because of their association with a relative with a mental health issue," Dr Garner said on May 14.
"We need to end the stigma around mental health and make it easier … to access support services. The long-term cost of not doing so is enormous."
Figures from the federal government's Private Health Insurance Ombudsman indicate that one in five Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lives.
Some private health insurance policies may help to cover the costs of psychological services outside of Medicare's current system.