My journey as a carer started 16 years ago when I met Deb, my wife.
Medications were keeping her illness under control so it had little impact on our life. However, eight years ago her depression got bad, and I wanted an understanding of what was going on.
Through AVIVO in the Wheatbelt we got to know MIFWA. We went for a retreat, and I participated in the Building A Future program. I went on to do the facilitators course. My wife is also a facilitator for the My Recovery program.
Through the Building a Future program, I realised that mental illness is more prevalent than people think. I was able to understand closely the effects of mental illness in people, and develop some strategies to help myself as a carer. I am now aware that there is a need to separate the illness from the person. I have also developed skills to care for myself before I get exhausted in my caring role.
Interacting with other carers, I noticed that there are a lot of things people (including carers) do not know about mental illness. MIFWA’s programs help to empower people with knowledge on mental illness and give them hope. They also help people to realise they are not alone in their struggles, to meet other people (peers) who have been through it, and support carers and consumers to develop strategies in order to be in control of their day to day living.
I recommend carers and consumers try MIFWA’s programs.
To learn more about MIFWA’s Carer Support Services, click here.