For Families / Carers

Welcome! The Mutual Support and Self Help Consortium led by ARAFEMI believe that peer support is an essential part of mental health and wellness and have established the Centre for Excellence to enhance its usage for both people with mental health issues and families/carers.

Perhaps you are thinking of setting up a peer support group? Or someone has suggested you join one and want to know more. Maybe you want to explore different peer support models. This website promotes best practice by providing ready access to resources, latest research, a Directory of peer support services and the Forum. You can use all of these to enhance your peer support experience or the experience of your loved one. We would also appreciate hearing about your views on the site and what else could be added. Please comment here.

Have you considered working or volunteering in peer support to help other families/carers? With your lived experience you could make a valuable contribution to the recovery of others. You can find out more about training and employment here.

If you are interested in finding out about carer participation (providing carer input into systemic change within the mental health system), we recommend you speak to the Carer Consultant in your local mental health service or link to the Victorian Mental Health Carers Network, the peak body for mental health carers. Further information is available here, including a list of carer consultants in the public and private mental health systems.

Below are some stories carers have shared about peer support:

Ingrid’s Story

After my sister’s relapse, I struggled with guilt, denial and resentment. I felt uninformed and disconnected from my whole family. But after attending the GROW support group, visits to my sister now are about exploring and enjoying life.  Peer support has been so valuable to reclaim our relationship.