Authors: ARAFMI Mental Health Carers and Friends Association (WA) Inc
Event: 2011 TheMHS Awards
Type of resource: TheMHS Awards
Award state: WA
Award level: Finalist
Award category: Infant, Child and Adolescent Services or Programs
Abstract: ARAFMI offers free professional counselling and support to young people aged 8-18 years who care for a friend or family member with a mental illness. Counselling is offered on an outreach basis to schools or at an office. The service provides the following: • Counselling and support; • Education on mental illness; • Advocacy, liaison and referral; • Development of healthy coping strategies, self esteem and confidence; • Safety plans: what to do in an emergency or if someone is unwell; • Resources for young people to increase their understanding of mental illness; and • Provision of information on services. ARAFMI also offers holiday programs and camps for young people allowing them to interact with others with similar experiences and an opportunity for respite. Holiday program activities can include rock climbing, movies, adventure parks, Christmas parties and island trips. The holiday program is constantly in demand with an overflow of applications. Description of Facility/Organisation: ARAFMI WA was founded by mental health carers 35 years ago, we have a total of 13.8 FTE staff that are based in Perth Metro and 5.6 FTE in remote areas, Broome, Carnarvon and Port Hedland. We offer a range of supportive services such as counselling, information on mental illness, individual and state advocacy, support groups, counselling and holiday programs for young people, respite and a school education program. ARAFMI’s Youth Service is funded by WA Mental Health Commission and is funded to employ 1.2 FTE staff. ARAFMI’s Youth Service budget is $113,000.500. Currently the service is funded to provide 1300 hours of client contact annually. ARAFMI continues to exceed this target due to high demand for the services. Currently ARAFMI has 43 active youth counselling clients and 75 active clients in the School Holiday Programs. The counselling service and holiday programs are offered to young people who reside north of the swan river.