Snapshot: Central Coast ARAFMI
ARAFMI can now offer respite and accommodation to people with mental illness, as well as their families and carers, in a newly acquired heritage property.
The Association of Relatives and Friends of the Mentally Ill (ARAFMI) has been supporting people with mental health issues, as well as their families and carers for more than 35 years. A community managed specialist mental health service, ARAFMI provides holistic support, seeing the person and their life as a whole. A team of professionals and volunteers offer information, advocacy, and support, delivered with an approach that has a recovery focus, is family sensitive, person centric and offers hope, creativity and innovation.
‘We explored other options, but we felt safer with SEFA. They understood what we were trying to achieve.’
Rhonda Wilson, Regional Manager, ARAMFI
With the support of SEFA, Central Coast ARAFMI purchased a property that will provide accommodation for people with a mental illness and their carers for up to 28 days. The home sits on a spacious hectare of grounds, ready for gardening groups and morning walks. The two buildings are light and airy, and easy to maintain. The house and separate cottage at Narara, can accommodate eight people while facilities like the ballroom and four double garage spaces provide multiple options for forums, research and other activities. The facility will provide respite as an early form of intervention, and for those just released from hospital before they return home. It will also be available on specific weekends for carers retreats when clients are not in residence.
The ARAFMI will run day programs at the Centre five days a week, with expectations that thousands of people will use the facility each year. The property has already exceeded expectations as a community engagement initiative. Since late May when it was acquired, groups of between 20 to 30 volunteers have come each Saturday to renovate the gardens, paint and bring the buildings back to life.
What SEFA says
This is a significant step in Central Coast ARAFMI’s journey and the realisation of their long-term goal to establish accommodation to support people with a mental illness and their carers. We are proud to be part of it.
Download the case study here.