Authors: Michelle Swann, Frances Sanders and Helen Kane, VIC.
Event: 2010 TheMHS Conference
Subject: REFORM, Carer Advocacy & Government Strategy, Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFEMI)
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: A Victoria state-wide carer consultation conducted by Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFEMI) Victoria in 2007 identified the need for an independent, service neutral Carer Advocate in mental health that could provide individualised support to assist mental health carers with complex advocacy issues. In 2009 a position was developed and recruited to with an advocate being appointed in September, 2009. Twelve months into the role the Carer Advocate has amassed significant data that indicates that new territory is being explored and significant outcomes are being achieved through casework advocacy for mental health carers. This paper hopes to explore the future possibilities of casework advocacy for mental health carers and how a Carer Advocate may continue and extend the role as a change agent. It aims to raise awareness of the need and effectiveness of an independent, service neutral carer advocacy service in mental health. Representatives from ARAFEMI will discuss the development of the role, the implementation of the role at the ‘grass roots’ level and the emerging integration of the role in the mental health system in Victoria.