Starting out in 1980 as a grassroots support group for families, the Cebula, Kovich, Stitfold and Ursich families started meeting at each other’s homes with a shared purpose and vision: to improve the lives of their children diagnosed with schizophrenia by developing better support services and promoting more understanding about mental illness in the community.
In 1990 The Schizophrenia Fellowship of WA (the Fellowship) was officially incorporated as an association.
A carer support group was developed to catch up with old friends or make new ones and to share experiences, ideas and talk over issues with the group or on a one-to-one basis. The informal group was attended by consumers, carers, family members, friends and health professionals and was hosted by Irene Stitfold one of the founding members of the Fellowship.
By 1994 The Fellowship’s first service, the Lorikeet Clubhouse is developed in Shenton Park.
By 1996 Funding provided to facilitate Carer Support Services and the Fellowship appointed Executive Officer appointed.
In 2002 The Fellowship changed its name to the Mental Illness Fellowship of WA (MIFWA).
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of MIFWA.
MIFWA has now grown to assist approximately 2,500 people annually, including people who have experienced mental illness, their families and carers. Now with a workforce of 140 people, we now encompass satellite teams throughout Western Australia including East Metro Perth, North Metro Perth, Central Metro Perth, Wheatbelt and Regional WA.