Families 4 Families WA

NOTE: Since March 2020 due to COVID, F4FWA is held online via Zoom. Please email mentalhealthmatters2@gmail.com or text 0413861049 for further details.  We’re still meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday nights of the month from 7pm – 8pm. 

F4FWA – 2015 Winner of Alcohol and Other Drug Excellence (Families) Award

Families 4 Families WA (F4FWA) is a bi-monthly group where families, friends and supporters of people who experience mental distress, alcohol and other drug use and sometimes criminal justice involvement come together to share, support and learn.  The group is peer-led and peer-run (run by family members for family members), with clinical support from Cyrenian House drug and alcohol agency.

  • Held on 2nd and 4th Tuesday night of the month (excluding public holidays)
  • 7pm  – 8.30pm with tea/coffee/chat afterwards
  • Venue:  The Carer Centre, 182 Lord Street, Perth (See map at bottom of page).  Thank you to our friends at Helping Minds and Carers WA for providing the venue.
  • Close to Claisebrook Train Station.  Free parking on adjoining streets (evening).
  • RSVP by text to 0413 861 049 for set-up purposes.

The group supports and promotes safety and harm minimisation for individuals and families.

F4FWA was launched by MHM2 during Mental Health Week 2011.  In 2012, MHM2 partnered with Cyrenian House drug and alcohol agency to provide    bi-monthly groups and additional support.                                                             Charl, the ‘resident’ Cyrenian House co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drug specialist, attends meetings and can provide ongoing one-to-one counselling, support and referral to other services if needed.

The format of the evenings include guest presentations, consultations to relevant research and peer sharing.   For example, in 2018/19 we’ve had presentations on :

  • Treatment, Support & Discharge planning in the Mental Health Act 2014
  • Dietary and nutrition support for people with mental ill-health;
  • The Stages of Change in alcohol and other drug use and how families and friends can best respond at each stage
  • Preparing your Will; Enduring Powers of Attorney / Guardianship
  • the Co-response initiative by the WA Police Force
  • Co-production and Co-design – what does they mean?
  • Family Connections Program (Helping Minds)
  • Prison Transition Team (Statewide Forensic Mental Health Services)

We also use the opportunity to give the family/supporter perspective to sector consultations.  Recently these have included consultations with:

  • Department of Communities on the review of the Carer Recognition Act 2004
  • the Substantive Equality Unit of the WA Police Force on the review of the agency’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
  • the Mental Health Commission on the Post-Implementation Review of the Mental Health Act 2014 and the Accommodation & Support strategy
  • the Mental Health Advocacy Service on Treatment, Support & Discharge plans

Research involving the voice of living experience is critical to enable services to be built on what works from a consumer and family perspective.   F4FWA is open to participating in contemporary research which informs service improvement and development for people and families at the ‘pointy end’.    We’ve previously done so with Curtin University for a number of research projects and with Murdoch University.