Welcome to the

  Adult Sibs Page
    Here you will be able to:
• Read about the concerns of siblings
• Find out about books that have been written about or by other adult siblings
• Read below what other adult siblings say
• Join SibChat an adult sibling internet forum
  • become a member of SibChat on Facebook , a closed group just for adult siblings - this is more active than the above forum - please join us!
  • download a fact sheet for siblings of young people with mental health issues
  •  Learn about research about adult siblings including: 1. adult sibling project undertaken by Siblings Australia in 2009. 2. background paper by Siblings Australia leading up to this research and 3. white paper put out by the Sibling Leadership Network in the US
  • NEW We have been funded by the DSS Sector Development Fund to develop more supports for adult siblings and to help them assist their brother or sister with a disability to access the NDIS. Read more about the project here - you can sign up to email updates for the project from that document. We are developing Peer Support opportunities in a number of cities and have trained a number of adult sibs to take on the role of leaders for these groups. If you would like to be considered for such a role in the future, email kate@siblingsaustralia.org.au   The Peer Support groups will meet for the first time in early April. See the events page for details of the different groups. 


Every sibling of a person with a disability (includes chronic and mental illnesses) has had a unique experience. For many, being a sibling has brought much joy. For others, there have been considerable personal challenges to overcome. Your response to growing up with a brother or sister with disability is as valid as anyone else’s. Each individual experience will depend on a whole range of factors, including personality and age factors, reactions of others, the level of social support etc. Many siblings have a very active role in the life of their brother or sister with disability, both giving and receiving care and support. Some take on more responsibility as their parents age. Alternatively, for some, the responsibility can be too onerous, causing a sibling to distance themselves from the family as they move into adulthood. This can add to feelings of guilt and isolation, and is a loss for the whole family.

One of the most valuable realisations for any sibling is that they are not alone; that there are others out there who have felt similar emotions or experienced similar situations. Some face-to-face adult sibling groups have been established but, with busy lifestyles, internet based groups have been very successful both here and overseas.

The goal of Siblings Australia is to strengthen families. Through this website we hope to create connections between adult siblings so that you can share both emotional support and practical information about a whole range of issues that concern you and your brother or sister with disability or illness.

What adult siblings say:

I just wanted to let you know I love the website and it has been so helpful to me. Reading it has made me feel normal again and all the feelings I have had over all these years have been validated.

Hopefully young siblings won’t have such a hard time of it as we have had, thanks to things, such as this website, that increase people's understanding.

~Diane, 42~

When I found this website it was like 'coming home'. I've never understood my feelings as a sibling. Now it makes much more sense.
~Jan, 37~

If you would like to share your thoughts or feelings about being a sibling, contact us with your story. Tell us if you are happy for us to include it on our website. If you would prefer you can use a pseudonym. Also please share with us any advice or words of wisdom you have for younger sibs, for parents or for providers.    
Other siblings know in a way that no one else does - not parents, not service providers - what it's like to have a sibling with a disability
Adult sibling