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Information Session. “Knowledge is power… relevant knowledge is more power…relevant knowledge delivered by people who have been there and done that is.

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Presentation on theme: "Information Session. “Knowledge is power… relevant knowledge is more power…relevant knowledge delivered by people who have been there and done that is."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information Session

2 “Knowledge is power… relevant knowledge is more power…relevant knowledge delivered by people who have been there and done that is inspirational”

3 Well Ways Building a Future is a 12 session education program designed to assist family members and carers to maintain their own wellness and support the recovery of their family member or friend with a mental illness. Facilitators are experienced carers and family members of a person with a mental illness who have been trained & accredited to deliver the program. Well Ways Building a Future

4 Rationale for Peer Family Support & Education Programs Peers offer genuine empathic support and can inspire belief that recovery is possible Peer groups offer shared understanding and normalisation of the experience of mental illness in a space free of stigmatising views Peer education values the experience of family members

5 Families & friends of people with a mental illness often… experience societal and self stigma experience trauma associated with the advent of the mental illness experience frustration with treatment services

6 Families & friends of people with a mental illness often… are the ‘front line’ of treatment and support can have a significant impact on outcomes & recovery with education can learn how to become part of the support team with the person with a mental illness and the mental health services, clinical services, community supports

7 Families & friends of people with a mental illness… have been saying for many years that they need more support and information want an evidence based program of support and information

8 Program Aims Improve family/carer well being Improve knowledge about mental illness, treatment and recovery Improve knowledge about the mental health service & legal systems Assist families to have a clearer perspective on the many dilemmas that they face Improve communication and advocacy skills

9 Program Structure Groups of 8-12 carers 8 weekly sessions followed by 4 sessions every 1-2 months Each session is 3 hours and involves informal but structured learning, group discussions, videos and practical demonstrations Participants are provided with practical resources such as factsheets to support them in their learning throughout the program (see example of factsheet).

10 Themes and Frameworks Frameworks for the cause of and recovery from mental illness, the biopsychosocial model and stress-vulnerability coping model Basic brain structure and physiology as it relates to mental illness and current research Information on the interaction between mental illness and drug/alcohol use Cultural experiences of mental illness

11 Themes and Frameworks Emotional responses to mental illness for family members and the person experiencing illness Separating the person from the illness Personal accounts of moving forward and establishing a life for yourself Establishing support mechanisms (see session information booklet for more detail)

12 “Meeting fellow carers was a wonderful experience; sharing each other’s stories was invaluable. The information provided in the course was empowering. I would recommend this course to other carers” (Building a Future participant) It is a powerful combination of gaining up to date factual information as well as learning from those who have had similar experiences in an environment that promotes learning, resilience, self care and positive action. Benefits of Participating in Well Ways

13 Building a Future was first developed in La Trobe University’s evaluation of the program in 2009 has shown significant improvements for family members/carers as a result of participating: Key findings included: Significant reductions in participant’s tension, worrying and distress, maintained over time Participant improvements in communication skills, increased self- efficacy and empowerment and an increased ability to empathise with the person with a mental illness Participant’s gained a sense of universality (a feeling of not being alone) (See handout of evaluation results for more information)

14 The program is designed for participants who are open to learning, willing to explore possibilities for change and able to be respectful of other’s experiences. Participants are often referred through: -Self referral -Clinical mental health services -Community mental health services -Consumer or carer networks -Community health services Referral and Eligibility

15 Ongoing evaluation of the program Participants are asked to complete a questionnaire at four stages: -Prior to Week 1 -Following Week 8 -3 months after finishing the program -10 months after finishing the program Completing these questionnaire’s are optional and not a requirement of participating in the program. All responses remain confidential. The results assist MI Fellowship Victoria to continue to improve the program and ensure it’s effectiveness.

16 Well Ways Programs Well Ways programs are developed by Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria by and in consultation with individuals and families affected by mental illness. They are delivered nationally in partnership with other organisations The suite of Well Ways programs includes: Well Ways Building a Future A 12 session program for family members and carers of a person with a mental illness Well Ways MI Recovery A 10 session program for people with a lived experience of mental illness Well Ways Duo A 10 session program for family members and carers of a person with a dual diagnosis (mental illness and drug/alcohol issues) Well Ways Snapshot A 2 session introductory program for family members and carers of a person with a mental illness, including a short presentation from someone with a lived experience of mental illness

17 Participant Testimonials ‘This has been informative and should help most people who undertake the course to be more accepting of their situation. We had some laughs’ ‘I feel that Well Ways was a huge help in understanding my situation and also the group was very helpful in that I realised I was not on my own. This has lifted the burden much to my surprise. Well Ways is something that I will keep referring to and will help me in my struggle in the future’ ‘Interesting topics; lots of useful information; carer centred kind and supportive environment; had a good laugh and a few tears’

18 Participant Testimonials ‘Self empowerment, self-care, increased self-worth: the opportunity to put education into action’ ‘I feel confident with the information I am being given to make better choices and decisions and reactions when dealing with my loved one with mental health difficulties, it is also helping me deal with my own frustrations and learning to cope better. This has helped me with dealing with different people in the community’ ‘The best thing to know for help my family’

19 For More Information For more information on Well Ways go to: Then click on ‘more on Well Ways family programs’, and watch the video of a Well Ways facilitator reflecting on the program

20 Contact Information For more information or to register for a program please contact: Name: Suburb: Phone:


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