Mental Illness Fellowship of WA (MIFWA) is an independent community based mental health organisation with 30 years’ experience supporting people with a lived experience of mental illness, their families, and carers across Western Australia.
Starting out in 1980 as a grassroots support group for families with a vision to improve the lives of children diagnosed with schizophrenia by developing innovative support services that offered hope and fellowship, MIFWA has grown to assist 2,500 people annually with a workforce of 140 people across the Perth Metro and Regional areas of WA with a focus on:
- Working alongside people affected by mental health issues in a way that is meaningful to them,
- Promoting acceptance and understanding of mental health in the community, and
- Becoming a leader in innovation and systemic reform in mental health service delivery.
For over 30 years, MIFWA has been at the forefront of innovative approaches that have significantly improved the mental health system in WA including:
- Lorikeet Centre – WA’s first community centre ‘clubhouse’, for 26 years Lorikeet has contributed to the recovery of hundreds of West Australians experiencing mental ill health,
- Our award-winning Wellways peer education programs – making a difference to the lives of many families and carers,
- Hospital to Home, a peer led service supports peopling who have been in hospital due to mental distress to return home following a hospital stay, and
- Training by People with Lived Experience – including Mental Health First Aid (face-to-face and now in a blended online learning environment), Youth Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention Training (safeTALK and ASIST), as well as customised training tailored to community need.
We are a community mental health provider and a small team of experienced and dedicated people who understand, offers information and practical support. We were established by families and individuals with lived experience, driven by hope to find a way for people diagnosed with mental illness to reconnect with their life and community.
Our approach is not clinical or medical (at times we compliment this aspect of people’s care/treatment). Rather we focus on supporting people to get on with their life, goals and aspirations. We know that people do much better when they are active, contributing and have opportunities to participate, learn and develop.
The Way We Work – Living our MIFWA Values
- Accountability – Individually and as an organisation, we are accountable and responsible for our behaviours; activities; decisions; outcomes; and are open and transparent in what we do.
- Integrity – We demonstrate integrity by having the courage to do the right thing and stand up for what’s right, being responsible for our actions, being honest and adhering to the highest ethical standards.
- Inclusion and Acceptance – We acknowledge everyone’s worth and dignity, regardless of background, abilities or beliefs; we demonstrate empathy, show consideration for one another, and acknowledge the value of others.
- Collaboration – We work with others (individuals and groups) to achieve shared goals; sharing knowledge, learning together and building consensus.
- Empowerment – We work to empower people and help them gain control over their own lives, fostering power in the individual to act on the issues they define as most important to them.
A Carer Friendly Workforce
As an employer who recognises the benefits of supporting carers in the workplace, we are an endorsed Carer Friendly Workplace.