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Carer & Family Support

Arafmi has an extensive history working alongside mental health carers and families. With over 40 years of knowledge and experience, we are uniquely placed to support you in your role as a carer, or family member, of a person with a mental illness. 

Our wide range of services and programs are designed to support mental health carers in a way that best suits you and your family’s needs. Whether you need help navigating the NDIS, looking for support services for yourself or a loved one or simply need someone you can talk to who understands, we’re here for you.

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A mental health carer is someone who cares for or about someone with a mental illness or mental health issues (whether diagnosed or not). 

Carers can be of all ages and have different relationships with the person with a mental illness. This includes children, adults, siblings, parents, grandparents, partners, other family, friends and neighbours.  

They are not paid formal carers (ie people employed as workers) but could receive a carer support payment through Centrelink because of their caring role. 

The person you care for does not need to have a formalized mental health diagnosis or NDIS package. If you identify that the person you care for has mental health needs and you are requiring support as a carer then you are encouraged to contact the Arafmi Carer Support Team.  

We can talk through your situation, identify possible options and provide you with information about these. Arafmi specialises in providing supports for mental health carers and can assist you to link with these and/or other more appropriate supports where this is beneficial. Some people experience mental health needs and other disabilities (e.g. intellectual disability) or health related needs and can require different specialised carer supports. If you are not sure if Arafmi has the right supports for you please call our team for assistance. 

Yes, the carer supports are for people in Queensland who care for someone with mental health needs regardless of whether the person they support is an inpatient, outpatient, living in supported accommodation, accessing private services or using public services. 

The 24-hour support line is available to carers across Queensland over the phone.  

Online supports for carers are provided via Zoom and include counselling, information and education sessions and support groups. There are general support groups and specialised support groups including caring for a young person, caring for a partner/spouse and caring for a person with a dual diagnosis. 

In some regions we have face-to-face support groups. An up-to-date listing is on the website at  

Carer Support Groups | Arafmi . If carers are interested in starting a support group they are encouraged to contact us to discuss their interest and we can provide training and support to establish a group. 

The Arafmi Carer Supports are primarily funded by Queensland Health. This means supports are free for carers.  

For one off larger events a small co-contribution could be requested. In these situations this would be clearly advertised in advance and support given to ensure carers are not missing out on opportunities because of their financial situation. 

Being a financial member of Arafmi is optional. Carers are encouraged to become a member for a small annual fee of $5 unwaged and $10 waged as this can provide additional benefits including invitations to focus groups, some events and voting rights at the Annual General meeting.

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The Arafmi Carer Supports are available for carers to access as and when they need them. Carers can choose to access just one support or multiple supports and services.  

The 24-hour line is available 24/7 with no limit to access. 

The face-to-face and online groups can be accessed as one offs, on an ongoing basis or as and when needed.  

Workshops topics are repeated and carers can attend the same workshop again if they want. 

Short term individual carer support sessions can be provided to discuss a particular issue. Where specific counselling is needed we can assist with linking people with suitable ongoing emotional support.  

Overnight respite is available for carers who are Arafmi members. Carers usually book for 1-2 nights/year. As part of the intake process carers situations are assessed and bookings prioritised in response to needs. 

There are no waiting lists to access the 24-hour phone support line. After hours, the service has one line so if the line is busy please call back.  

Most supports groups are held monthly and these do not have waiting lists.  

We ask that you register for all workshops and education sessions. Further sessions could be organised if there was a higher than usual interest.  

Arafmi can provide emotional support for carers eg through phone support but unfortunately it is not part of our role to be individual advocates.  We are unable to be a part of review tribunals and physically attend meetings with carers. As we are not an advocacy service for individuals we will assist you to link with specialised and appropriate advocacy services. 

There are a range of other organisations that provide supports, funding and/or information for carers. Some of these include: 

Carer Gateway  1800 422 737 

Carers Queensland  07 3900 8100 

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) 

Eating Disorders Queensland  07 3844 6055  

Little Dreamers (Young Carer organisation)  1800 717 515  Little Dreamers Australia 

Young Carers Network 

You are encouraged to look at these websites for details and contact the organisations directly for more information. We can also provide details to assist you to know which may be of relevance. 

Carers can selfrefer to any of the Arafmi Carer Support Services programs or be referred by a health professional, family member or friend when consent has been given. A member of the Arafmi Carer Support Team will then connect with the carer, discuss their needs and assist them to access / book the relevant support. 

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Carer Support Groups

Arafmi’s Support Groups warmly welcomes parents, partners, relatives and friends caring for/about a loved one with mental illness.

Our Support Groups offer a supportive environment where people have the opportunity to talk about their experiences, help explore alternative ways of coping, offer support to other group members, or to simply listen and observe. Support groups are also a valuable means of informing carers of Arafmi services and resources that are available to assist their caring role.

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Education Workshops & Information Sessions

Arafmi frequently delivers workshops and information sessions to carers and families of people with a psychosocial disability. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn and practice the many skills used in providing care to another person. Topics include: Effective Communication, Coping Skills for Carers, Personal Boundaries, Dual Diagnosis, Supporting Recovery and many more. These sessions are available online and face-to-face.
One on one

One-on-One Support

Carers can access 1-on-1 support with a carer support team member to explore themes and issues specific to their caring role. This is provided face-to-face in Inner Brisbane, online via Zoom or via the phone.
Arafmi Mental Health Carer Hub

Carer Respite Accommodation

Arafmi provides respite accommodation for carers. The accommodation is located in Harcourt Street, Teneriffe and is available for unpaid mental health carers to utilise for free.

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Regional Carer Support

Arafmi brings our supports and services to carers throughout the state. We have a dedicated staff member to support regional carers. 
Culture Care

Culture Care

Culture Care is funded by Queensland Health and delivered in partnership with Arafmi and World Wellness Group. It is a free service that provides individual and group support to mental health carers from multicultural backgrounds. 

Culture care provides support to:

  • Carers from multicultural backgrounds supporting someone who is experiencing poor mental health
  • These carers may include people such as: immediate or extended family members, friends, housemates, neighbours
  • Community and faith leaders: we are expanding the traditional family/carer role to include community elders and faith leaders as they are key people in multicultural communities who individuals turn to for support
  • The carer may or may not receive a carer allowance / pension from Centrelink
  • Any carer from a multicultural background regardless of their immigration / visa status

24hr Carer Support Line

We understand the difficulties that mental health carers face. Our 24 hour Carer Support Line is open to anyone who is caring for or about a relative or friend with a psychosocial disability. 

You can call Arafmi’s 24 hour Carer Support Line any time of the day to share your feelings, receive support, find new resources and learn helpful coping skills to help you in your caring role. It’s comforting to know that when you need to talk – someone who understands will be there – at any hour.

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