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Category: Mental Health

Human Rights Submission
Advocacy

Submission to review of Queensland’s Human Rights Act 2019

Submission to the Human Rights Act Review Arafmi recently made a submission to the Independent Review of Queensland’s Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act was established in 2019 to protect and promote the human rights of Queenslanders when they interact with Queensland Government departments and services, including public hospitals, public mental health services, police and public schools. In our submission we highlighted that due to lack of appropriate mental health services, many mental health carers feel they do not get a choice in taking on a caring role, which is in essence a lack of protection of their right to freedom from forced work. We provided examples of where public systems and services are not balancing the rights of carers with the rights of those they care for, including in relation to privacy, liberty and security of person.  We also suggested that the right to social and economic participation should be considered for inclusion under the Human Rights Act and that much greater attention needs to be given in public policy and services to the protection of whole families (using the broadest possible definition of families) and children and young people who are caring for someone with mental ill-health.

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At what cost?
Advocacy

Arafmi’s inaugural mental health carers report: ‘At what cost? The experiences of unpaid mental health carers in Queensland 2023 – 2024’

Arafmi’s inaugural mental health carers report: ‘At what cost? The experiences of unpaid mental health carers in Queensland 2023 – 2024’ “At What Cost?” collates and analyses the feedback from carers in consultations held by our Advocacy Team, late last year. The report has been mailed out to all State MPs, Queensland-based Federal MPs, senior public servants and other stakeholders. Follow-up meetings will occur to raise awareness of the systemic reforms that carers need. In this report, Arafmi has identified six areas for action that will guide our advocacy work over the next two years: Raise awareness of mental health carers so that they can be better recognised and supported. Advocate for physical, emotional, social, mental health, and practical support for mental health carers. Facilitate access to relevant information and training for mental health carers. Promote carer inclusion in mental health treatment planning and implementation. Increase financial assistance for carers. Advocate for inclusion of the voices of mental health carers in mental health reform. A summary of the key findings and recommendations can be found in the document below: Read here “You often find out the hard way what’s available and what would’ve helped in the early stages. It would

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ARAFMI Carer Forum 2021
Mental Health

National Carers Week and Queensland Mental Health Week 2021

National Carers Week and Queensland Mental Health Week was celebrated from 10 – 16 October 2021 and the Arafmi Team was busy all week with stalls at the West Moreton Mental Health Expo, Caring for Carers event at St John QLD, West End and the Brisbane Mental Health Expo. Arafmi was also a sponsor of the Carers Queensland, Carer Friendly Business Awards event on Tuesday, 12 October and we would like to congratulate all the winners – well done!  Arafmi also hosted two events for our mental health carers – one was a collaboration with the Lovewell Foundation/Lovewell Café at Mt Gravatt Outlook and the other was our annual Carer Forum. Lovewell – Take Time to Connect    It’s a beautiful morning up at the Mt Gravatt Outlook with our wonderful carers. lovewell 1 lovewell 2 lovewell 3 lovewell 4 We were very pleased to co-host an event with the team at Lovewell Foundation and the Lovewell Café up at Mt Gravatt Outlook. The event was possible thanks to the 2021 Queensland Mental Health Week Community Events Grant Program.   The Lovewell café provided delicious treats for carers, and wellness activities were available including yoga and aromatherapy. Stallholders from organisations such as the Carer Gateway, Lives Lived Well, Stepping Stones and Carers Queensland were also onsite to help provide information to our carers. Despite the rain we had a very impressive turnout and as you can see from the photos – a good time was had by all!  Carer Forum 20211013 ARAFMI Carers Forum 107 20211013

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Carer Story

National Volunteer Week

Former Australian Politician Elizabeth Andrew once said “volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they have the heart”. This wonderful group within our community numbers almost 6 million nationwide and without them, many of those who are vulnerable and at risk would not receive the support they need.   From 17 – 23 May we celebrate and recognise our volunteers, the unpaid workers among us who donate their time to help those in need. The theme for this year is Recognise. Reconnect. Reimagine.   At Arafmi, we are very lucky to have volunteers who help us facilitate some of our carer support groups as well as working with our telephone support line for carers. Louise and Sharni are two such volunteers, and as part of National Volunteer Week this year, we sat down with them both to chat about what it’s like to volunteer. Thank-you to Louise and Sharni for taking the time to share their volunteering story with us and allowing us to share it with you. Here’s to all the volunteers out there who offer up their time to help others in need. Thank-you for making the world a better place. Louise Volunteer Telephone Support Worker 28 years with Arafmi Louise and her husband Roger first discovered Arafmi when their teenage son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1993. When I asked Louise where they

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Communication

Arafmi Carer Advisory Committee

Arafmi is establishing a Carer Advisory Committee to ensure the Arafmi Board can continue to strengthen their connection with carers and their understanding of carers needs. The Carer Committee will meet four times a year with board representatives, the CEO and Service Delivery Manager – Carer Supports. These meetings will ensure there is direct contact between the board and carers. The committee will identify present and emerging needs of carers, discuss and share recommendations and ensure carer’s needs remain central in Arafmi planning, decision making and advocacy. Carer Committee members will be reimbursed for their time and travel to acknowledge their contributions and commitment. Members will also have the option to join via Zoom. If you are passionate about carer’s needs and seeking an opportunity to connect directly with the board and make real differences in outcomes for carers at Arafmi and in the broader community we would love to hear from you. Please read the information sheet to find out more about this opportunity. If you are interested in applying to become a member you are asked to complete the application form below by Tuesday, 6 April and then we will be in touch with you. If you have

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YoungCarerSurvey
Carer Story

Young Carers Survey – Date Extended

Are you a young person aged 9-24 who provides unpaid care/support or spends extra time looking after someone who needs assistance?

If you do, we would like to hear from you!

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Anxiety

Arafmi’s Response to COVID-19

In order to help alleviate any questions or fears you may have about our supports and services during the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have put together some frequently asked questions for you. The overall message we would like to convey is: please don’t worry. We will keep you updated if anything changes.  What happens if my regular Support Worker becomes ill?  All support workers have been instructed not to come to work if they become ill. Currently, all Arafmi staff are healthy and well and are aware of all the protocols around staying well and reducing infection. Arafmi have got a large pool of staff so we will endeavour to find you alternative support. We may need to change your shift time to provide this but please bear with us if this occurs. We will place priority on clients who are at risk of abuse or neglect. If we need to change your shift, we will communicate directly with you.  Once your regular support worker has medical clearance to return to work, they can continue to provide you with your required supports.  What if I become ill?  If you are experiencing any flu like symptoms, please advise your support worker and notify the Arafmi office staff as soon as practical.  Please also advise

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Anxiety

You are not alone this Christmas

Christmas is a festive and joyful time for some, but unfortunately it can be a difficult and challenging time for others. Loved ones and carers may have unpleasant memories of previous Christmas seasons or they may feel surrounded by triggers such as alcohol and noise. Not everyone has a family or close friends to spend Christmas with and loneliness may be felt more strongly than usual. Carers have to deal not just with their own expectations and hopes for Christmas but also with their loved ones. If you are one of those carers, we understand that this can be stressful, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and look after yourself. Please remember that there are services out there still operating during the Christmas period and if it all gets too much, please call the Arafmi support line and we will welcome and support you. You are not alone. Here is a link to some available services in Brisbane over the Christmas period. 24 Hour Helpline If you have any questions about this article or need someone to talk to, you can call Arafmi any time of the day on 07 3254 1881. It’s comforting to know that when you

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Anxiety

How Your 5 Senses Can Help When Anxiety Strikes

As a carer you may become annoyed when anxiety strikes. “I don’t have time to have an anxiety attack right now”, “of COURSE this has to happen now, I’m meant to be doing something for my loved one” or “I am so sick of these anxious moments, I wish they would just go away”. When anxiety pays us a visit, it brings with it a sense of doom. Our hearts race, our minds get busy concocting all different awful scenarios, our breathing becomes shallow and we can sometimes feel light-headed. Suffering anxiety is not fun. If you suffer anxiety, you know this to be true. Whatever the trigger may be, we suddenly find ourselves cocooned in a storm of feelings that nobody else can see. Whether you’re at work at your desk, or frozen at the kitchen sink, or standing at a set of lights – your stillness contradicts everything that is going on within your mind at that moment. What To Do The fabulous world of the internet shows us that there are a multitude of ways to deal with anxiety. But for us, we wanted to share with you an activity that involves using your five senses and

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