Authors: Well Ways
Event: 2009 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: VIC
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Family/Carer Provided Services
Abstract: Well Ways is a family education program that responds to the information, skill and emotional support needs of families of people with mental illness. The program is delivered in each state and territory of Australia. Well Ways is committed to an evidence base and high quality: Extensive consultation involving family members, clinicians and consumers, and reference to current literature; Peer education– family facilitator and participants; Regular review – now in Edition 6; Facilitators undergo training and meet competency standards to be accredited. Refresher courses are mandatory; Evaluation: Evaluation of the transferability of the program was performed prior to the national roll out; National program evaluation (n=394) indicated that the average level of distress (GHQ-12) was decreased; Measures of caregiving consequences (IEQ) indicated that tension and urging were decreased. Further impact evaluation is underway with LaTrobe University. Description of Facility/Organisation: Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria is a membership-based non-profit organisation driven by the passion and professionalism of 250 staff, 349 volunteers, 1136 members and a governing board of directors. In the financial year 2008–09 we assisted 2129 people affected by serious mental illnesses, and worked with their families, carers and employers. We provide people with a network of evidence-based services offering individual pathways through psychiatric rehabilitation. Community education and advocacy are priorities. Our work is aimed at reducing stigma and providing people with homes, jobs and relationships. Our services are offered throughout metropolitan and regional Victoria and the ACT, and funded through State and Federal service contracts, charitable contributions and fundraising. MI Fellowship began as a small band of volunteers in 1978; it has developed into one of Australia’s largest and leading psychiatric disability support organisations, with an operating budget of over $12 million, and company limited by guarantee status.