Please Support Mental Health for Central Coast Families and ‘Invisible Carers’

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We call on the urgent support of the Central Coast, as the future of the mental health of our most vulnerable community members is at serious risk, particularly at this time when mental health support is of increased significance.

Central Coast ARAFMI is at risk due to cessation of contracts from primary funding partners, Central Coast Local Health District Mental Health Services (CCLHDMHS) and NSW Health, that support the vital mental and emotional health of Central Coast families.

Central Coast ARAFMI were informed on the 19th of May 2020 by CCLHDMHS that it will be losing funding of our young carer program (Young ARAFMI). Additionally, in the same week CCLHDMHS indicated that they will recommend that NSW Health funding to Central Coast ARAFMI family support programs (Carers Support and Grandparents Raising Grandchildren and Kinship), go to tender.

These are family-focused, ‘wrap-around’, mental and emotional health support services that are unavailable elsewhere on the Central Coast. They depend on CCLHDMHS and NSW Health funding. 

We ask for your support to help funders understand that our family-focused, non-clinical services support a need in the mental and emotional health of vulnerable members of the community. Our 'wrap-around' services are critical for good mental health and reducing suicides on the Central Coast.

Central Coast ARAFMI non-clinical environments compliment clinical and traditional mental health support services. We do this by not only providing 'soft-landing', 'wrap-around' support to children and adult carers, and family members, with services such as counselling, group support, respite accommodation, education, information and advocacy. Central Coast ARAFMI facilitates preventative measures in its approach to mental health, reducing the rate of entry into clinical health systems.

Our organisation offers adult and children carers a sense of belonging in a soft-landing, mental health community unavailable elsewhere on the Central Coast, reducing stigmatisation and traumatisation.

ARAFMI was founded in 1975 by group of passionate cares who raised funds to start the grassroots organisation. As carers are often ‘invisible’ and disadvantaged across social, health and economical supports, these carers experienced first-hand the critical need for holistic family support. Without CCLHDMHS and NSW Health funding, our wrap-around programs of the Young ARAFMI program and Family Support program will cease to exist.

Central Coast ARAFMI is an essential mental health organisation that is deeply embedded into the community. Of the tens of thousands of children, adults and families Central Coast ARAFMI has supported across 43 years, many would not have sought help if the organisation did not exist.

A Family Support program member says “(Central Coast ARAFMI) is unique. It builds a bridge where a unique connection is made which facilitates healing through relationship. It's get me where I'm at…it provides the opportunity for lives to be healed with the view to prevention for future generations”.

We are calling on all members of our beloved Central Coast community to sign this petition to gain your URGENT support as funding will cease on the 30th of June. We hold severe concerns, that if this goes ahead, families, children and carers on the Central Coast will be seriously disadvantaged and neglected.