Families 4 Families WA

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).  Venue kindly provided by Helping Minds and Carers WA.
  • 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 2017/18 we’ve had presentations on :

  • 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:

  • 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 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.