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Family Support

Download Our Family Support Brochure

Our Philosophy

We work from the principle that the carer is the expert in his/her situation. We aim to walk with you in your journey, providing support when it is needed. Mental Health Carers (ARAFMI) on the Central Coast is one of the very few organisations that can provide a 'whole of family' approach. We are able to do this through the programs we can offer including, not only our Adult Family Support Program, but also the Recreation and Leisure Program and the Child and Adolescent Program.

The support we offer depends on you. You may need information on a specific diagnosis or information of how to access the mental health system. You may need strategies on dealing with certain behaviours or ideas on how to communicate effectively with your relative. You may want to attend a support group or need to arrange respite. It may be that you just need to talk to someone who understands.

Whatever is needed to support you in your caring role, we will endeavour to provide it. However, there may be ocassions when another organisation is more able, or is more appropriate for you. In this case we can faciliate a referral to that service.

Who is a carer?

Families and friends of people with mental illness in Australia have always had an important, leading role in supporting and caring for their relative or friend with mental illness. As treatment of mental illness has become more community oriented, so the responsibilities of these families and friends have grown.

The main aim of all of our services and programs is to enhance the well-being of the whole community and provide support for the carer role. The role of the carer is a valuable one to the person with the mental illness, as well as to family, friends and the community. The time and resources involved in the caring role would otherwise be a cost borne directly by the community.

A carer is a family member, friend, neighbour or other community member who provides regular (although this may be intermittent) and sustained support to someone who has a mental illness or disorder. Family members who are carers include children and young people who assume the carer role. The carer may not necessarily live with the cared for person, but is someone who has assumed the close, caring role as a friend or advocate, and provides financial and/or emotional and/or practical support. This caring, committed back-up role had been demonstrated over time, with the carer being in the front line of care during past episodes of illness and crises.

Aims of the Family Support Program

Please click the above link to view the main aims of the Family Support program offered by ARAFMI.

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