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Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Personal story:

Jesse Morgan and his mother

Twenty-five-year-old Jesse Morgan, a witness before the Commission, experienced a role reversal during his teenage years when he was ‘unofficially’ caring for his mother.

I helped Mum as best as I could—I did the shopping, looked after my brother, tried to keep the house clean and did the laundry as well […] I also worked part-time six days a week at a pizza place […] We were drowning in responsibilities as children.

He describes having no support as a young carer and said that through his mum’s post-traumatic stress disorder and schizoaffective disorder her personality became unrecognisable.

She had visual and auditory hallucinations. She was dependent on me for her daily activities. She needed my help to get up from her chair, go to the toilet or take a shower.

Jesse described how caring for his mum has affected him. He would like to see real changes to the system, including education about mental health and more information being available to young men.

My caring role for Mum was always my first priority growing up, to the detriment of my own life and development […] I feel like it has set me back in life.

Lack of supports can have an immense impact on young carers lives, including on their education and their own mental health.

Jesse also reflected on how his role as a carer has changed, and what has changed for his mother.

… I feel like my role as a carer now is less around physical help and more around emotional support and championing … trying to keep her going and telling her she’s doing a good job …

… She’s empowered herself and done a really amazing job at creating and maintaining a support network for herself that, yeah, allows her to get better and better …

Source: Interim Report, November 2019