Mental Health Carers NSW (formerly Arafmi NSW) is a non-government organisation that provides systemic advocacy and support for families, relatives and friends of people who experience mental illness, living in NSW. MHCN reaches out with friendship and understanding to all whose lives are touched by a mental health problem. We aim to maintain and improve existing levels of support services to all relatives and friends of people with a mental illness.
As the peak body for mental health carers in NSW, MHCN is regularly asked to provide feedback on policies and services on behalf of carers to the NSW Ministry of Health and to Local Health Districts. By influencing changes in policy, legislation and service provision, MHCN makes a positive difference to the mental health system for carers. In order to provide accurate and representative feedback, MHCN talks to people with lived carer experience across NSW and facilitate a number of Carer Peak Advisory Committees.
MHCN also operates a telephone Helpline service to provide support and referral to local mental health services for the families and carers of someone with a mental illness, and run a number of education workshops and training courses to upskill carers in their roles and empower them to become champions for mental health reform and participate in systemic processes to ensure the lived experience of mental health carers is included in service reform.