Authors: Leone Shiels, Karen Van Zyl, Patrick Hardwick, WA
Event: 2001 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Innovation in carer support, ARAFMI, book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: This presentation aims to provide an understanding of the challenges faced in providing support services for carers in the absence of funding and how such a service was developed and then enhanced further, in a partnership model.
The Peel Carer Support Programme is a joint initiative between ARAFMI and the Peel Community Mental Health Service. This is the first service of its kind to be offered in the Western Australian mental health field. It involves the use of ARAFMI volunteers in providing a basic carer support service, operating out of the Peel CMHS. Volunteer carers are able to provide a valuable level of support based on their life experience. The service provides supportive listening, provision of basic information and referral to appropriate agencies for carers of people with a mental illness. The volunteers were well supported by Peel CMHS through orientation, ongoing liaison, accommodation and the development of a six week coping skills workshop for carers.
The Programme was jointly evaluated and as a result of it's success, the Peel CMHS have created a 'portfolio' of care issues and in conjunction with ongoing input from ARAFMI and local carers, have developed a comprehensive business plan with a focus on implementing the National Mental Health Standards in respect of carers. This is a partnership model that can be introduced into any mental health service and provides an avenue to meet the rights and needs of carers and to attain national standards.