Arafmi Carer Education Workshops

Arafmi’s Carer workshops are specifically designed for carers and families of people with a psychosocial disability. These workshops provide an opportunity to learn and practice the many skills used in providing care to another person with a mental illness.

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What to expect

The interactive workshops are designed to help carers understand the impact of mental illness on their loved one; how to improve their relationship; how to develop caring skills, and how carers can keep themselves well emotionally in the long run.

There’s also an opportunity to connect with other carers who may be experiencing similar issues and learn from each other. The carer workshops go for 2 hours with a short break.

If you’d like to attend one or more of our carer workshops, please call us on 07 3254 1881 or email us at

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Who are the workshops for?

Arafmi Carer Workshops are for people who care for, or about, someone with mental illness/es. We warmly welcome parents, partners, relatives and friends caring for/about a loved one with mental illness. The person they care for may have a mood disorder (such as bipolar disorder and depression), anxiety disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia) and other mental illnesses.

There are other issues or disorders that affect the brain, that are not considered mental illness. Examples include autism, acquired brain injury, dementia (eg Alzheimer’s syndrome), Asperger’s syndrome and intellectual disabilities (like Down Syndrome).

If you’re unsure whether our workshops are relevant to you and the person you care for, please get in touch with us so we can discuss your needs.

If you’re currently a mental health professional and are not, or have not cared for or about someone in a personal capacity, these workshops are not appropriate for you. Please contact us to discuss training opportunities specifically for mental health professionals.

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Caring Skills – Part 1

What carers do matters. This workshop is about the tried and true caring skills carers use on their journey as a caregiver. We address: how to distinguish between your loved one and their behaviour as a result of the illness; how to have important conversations with the person and with professionals; how to make difficult decisions; as well as general and specific tips to help you and your loved one.

Caring Skills – Part 2

In this session we have a look at common attributes of various mental illness and provide you with tips for coping with behavioural patterns. This includes what to do when a loved one: lacks motivation; doesn’t think they have a problem; has manic behaviour; and/or self-harms; etc.

Effective Communication – Part 1

This workshop is for those who want to improve their relationships. Awareness of how we communicate and why we say things in certain ways helps us to understand communication and helps us to do better. People just need to know that they are heard and understood. In this workshop we focus on listening skills and how to successfully acknowledge others and ourselves. This workshop will provide you with the necessary tools to help improve communication within your relationships.

Effective Communication – Part 2

If you have ever wanted to learn more about the dynamics in relationships and our default roles within these relationships, then this workshop is for you. We also discuss conflict resolution and take you through how to de-escalate heightened emotions in others and ourselves.

Understanding Recovery

The recovery approach is about helping a person take control of their own life. In this workshop we define mental health recovery and how it affects different aspects of life for a person with mental health challenges. Interestingly, carers have a parallel journey of recovery. Mental health services in Australia are guided by recovery–oriented guidelines and we see what this may mean for those who interact with these services.

Supporting Recovery

This workshop assists carers in understanding recovery-based practice and care. We offer suggestions on how carers can avoid common pitfalls and how to best support their loved ones on their journey of recovery.

Boundaries to protect us, put us in charge of our own lives, promote healthy relationships, promote independence and reduce stress and conflict. In this workshop we explore indicators to set a boundary, how and why we sabotage our own efforts and practice the steps to set healthy boundaries

We also discuss boundaries and the roles they play in promoting healthy relationships and reducing stress and conflict. We explore how to: recognise when boundaries are required; understand how and why we sabotage our own efforts; and how to practice the steps to set healthy boundaries.

The Power of Personal Boundaries – Part 1

We need boundaries to protect us, put us in charge of our own lives, promote healthy relationships, promote independence and reduce stress and conflict. In this workshop we develop our awareness of why we have difficulties setting and maintaining personal boundaries in our relationships.

The Power of Personal Boundaries – Part 2

We discuss how to recognise when boundaries are required and how and when to practice the steps to set healthy boundaries. Importantly, we also talk about what to do when our boundaries are not respected.

Bouncing Back – Developing Resilience – Part 1

This workshop is designed to help carers understand resilience – what it is and how to strengthen it. We personalise strategies to enhance resilience and let go of past hurts. Resilience is beneficial for our health and gives us greater sense of satisfaction with our lives.

Bouncing Back Developing Resilience – Part 2

In this workshop we redefine ‘bouncing back’ as an entry point to a practical and personal method to strengthen resilience so that we can make our lives happier and healthier in spite of our circumstances.

Let’s talk about Suicide

In this workshop we discuss suicide myths and facts, factors that influence suicidal behaviour, risk and protective factors, warning signs and helpful responses. We also consider emergency plans and other plans to keep loved ones safe. Also there is a focus on hope for the carer and how they can impart hope to the person with the mental health issue.

Dual Diagnosis

Carers explore possible reasons for using substances; helpful and unhelpful responses; when their loved one may be most receptive to change; strategies for coping and the importance of self-care.

Understanding Mental Illnesses

In this workshop we tackle the question ‘what is mental illness?’ We discuss the various types of mental illnesses – how they can affect people and their possible causes. We distinguish myths from facts and touch on the stigma that surrounds mental illness and what can be done about it. Also discussed is appropriate and inappropriate language regarding mental illness as well as how mental illness is diagnosed, what treatments are available and what is the way forward.

If you’d like to attend one or more of our carer workshops, please call us on 07 3254 1881 or email us at

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Become a Member

Over the past 40 years, Arafmi has grown and continues to strive for better services for carers and to do so, we rely on our long-standing relationships with our members who are an integral part of our journey.