About us

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man (or woman) can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
— Charles Dudley Warner 1873

What is ARAFMI?

ARAFMI Illawarra is a non-government organisation acting independently from mental health services, managed by a voluntary committee of carers, family members, friends and interested professionals who work in mental health and community services.

A carer is a person who, at time of need, provides support to someone who has a mental illness or disorder. The carer may not necessarily be a family member, or live full-time with the cared for person, but is one who has assumed the close, non-institutional caring role as a friend or advocate, and provides financial and/or emotional and/or practical support. (ARAFMI 1999) Caring for someone with a mental illness can bring many positive experiences, personal growth and a great deal of satisfaction in life. However many carers find that the caring role can lead to emotional overload, dissatisfaction, frustration, anger and ultimately poor health. (NSW Government 1999) ARAFMI understands the dynamics of caring for a person with a mental illness. ARAFMI is a service striving to support carers and the specific support needs of family members, in order to reduce the potential negative impact of the illness and promote mental health and well-being.

Our Vision

United by our shared experience we provide a voice and a range of services to enhance the lives of carers, ARAFMI Illawarra's vision is for a community that understands and responds to the impact of mental illness