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Arafmi Mental Health Carer Forum 2022 

The Carer Forum this year was yet another success. Feedback received from attendees was all quite positive and we’re pleased with the Victoria Park venue. With a few suggestions and feedback taken on board, we’re looking forward to bringing you another great forum in 2023! 

During the forum we heard from our CEO and Carer Support Team Manager, Irene and Frie. We were given an update on the mental health carer hub progress and advised of new funding for the team. As part of this, we split into three groups: systems advocacy, respite and regional engagement. In these groups we discussed what we wanted to see in these areas and what we didn’t want to see. 

Systems Advocacy

What do you want to see? 

  • A holistic emotional health unit like the Mater Emotional Health Unit. This unit is private but each person is dealt with as an individual and given one-on-one with psychologists and social workers etc.  
  • Early intervention to prevent or lessen the amount of people going into Emergency Department for crisis care. 
  • More hospital accountability.
  • Diversity when asking for the carer voice in both online and offline. 
  • More linking with services.
  • Lobby government for more funding for a taskforce to look at what is needed.
  • Recognition of individual entities, agendas and competing priorities.
  • Advocacy across different systems.
  • Flexible, proactive, multi-service wraparound. 
  • Streamlining access to information. 
  • Legal position regarding privacy laws for persons that are really not in a position to make rational or fully rational decisions about their futures.

What don’t you want to see

  • Report writing 
  • Talk without action 
  • Inflexible top-down design making. 
  • Catchment areas of hospital. 

Regional Engagement 

What do you want to see?

  • Telehealth support 
  • Making Arafmi available in the regions. 
  • Family counselling. 
  • Bulk-billing in regional areas. 
  • Connecting online 
  • Respite  
  • Opportunity to be heard 
  • Easy access to information when seeking supports. 
  • Remove stigma in regional areas so people can access treatment freely 
  • Engagement in regional through lived experience systemic. 
  • Community education 
  • Put Arafmi at the front. 
  • Staff continuum (no going on leave, moving states) 
  • Google search, community knowledge, location specific supports when searching 

What you don’t want to see 

  • Inconsistency with support 
  • Carers being under-valued and disrespected 
  • False promises 
  • Broken priorities 


What do you want to see? 

  • Something like the house we used to have at Wellington Point – this was really nice. 
  • Somewhere to go and relax. 
  • No cost or low cost 
  • Volunteer assistance from carers (just to get away).
  • BBQ every three months. 
  • Great, healthy food 
  • Lots of locations 
  • Quiet locations 
  • Holistic activities (forest bathing, laughter yoga, garden/planting, cooking/baking) 

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