About Us

Mental Health Carers Australia is the only national advocacy group solely concerned with the well-being and promotion of the needs of mental health carers.  

Our Mission
Mental Health Carers Australia’s mission is to represent at a national level the interests and concerns of families and others voluntarily caring for people with mental illness throughout Australia.

Our Vision
People with a mental illness, and their families and carers, will be understood, respected and provided with a level of treatment and support which provides them with the opportunity to be included in their community.

Initially founded through the grassroots efforts of mental health carers as the national network of Arafmi services, Mental Health Carers Australia seeks to: advocate on behalf of carers, explore and strengthen the mental health caring role, develop knowledge, improve skills and offer support to reduce isolation and enhance the caring journey.

The Mental Health Carers Australia member organisations services across Australia are:

  • Mental Health Carers Tasmania
  • Mind Australia
  • Arafmi Mental Health Carers and Friends Association (WA) Inc
  • Mental Illness Fellowship NT
  • Mental Health Carers Arafmi Qld
  • Arafmi NSW

Brief History

Member organisations have been providing information and support to carers across Australia for over 30 years. Initially founded through the grassroots efforts of mental health carers, Mental Health Carers Australia seeks to explore and strengthen the mental health caring role, develop knowledge, improve skills and offer support to reduce isolation and enhance the caring journey.

The Mental Health Carers Australia grew out of the national movement of ARAFMI organisations across Australia. Originally ARAFMI was an acronym for Association of Relatives And Friends of the Mentally Ill.

The first ARAFMI group was formed in Sydney in 1975 by a concerned group of carers who identified the need for a service that would specifically address the concerns of carers, relatives and friends.

The movement quickly spread to other States and to the  Territories and ARAFMI became the primary provider of services for carers of people with a mental illness in Australia.

The Mental Health Carers Arafmi Australia was incorporated in October 1998.

In 2016 we are known as Mental Health Carers Australia.

Find out more about our members' work

Our members are central to our advocacy structure of taking the grassroots experience of carers and translating that to the national voice of mental health carers.